Inside the USA TODAY investigation into Jerry Harris as 'Cheer' season 2 makes Netflix debut – USA TODAY

January 14, 2022
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Cheer’ makes its season 2 debut on Netflix with one of the original stars facing allegations involving sexual misconduct with minors.
The criminal investigation into Jerry Harris is based on allegations brought by twin brothers who, in interviews with USA TODAY, described a pattern of harassment, both online and at cheer competitions, that started when they were 13 and Harris was 19.
They said it continued for more than a year.
According to federal court records, Harris admitted that he solicited and received explicit messages on Snapchat from at least 10 to 15 individuals he knew were minors; had sex with a 15-year-old boy at a cheerleading competition in 2019; and paid a 17-year-old money in exchange for nude photos.
And the allegations aren’t limited to Harris: Last year, USA TODAY revealed pervasive failures across the sport of competitive cheerleading, including how the governing body, the U.S. All Star Federation (USASF), delayed investigations and failed to prevent those accused or convicted of crimes from working in member gyms. The news organization detailed sexual misconduct allegations against Harris, who has been arrested and pleaded not guilty to federal charges. USASF has since hired a consulting firm to strengthen its policies and enforcement.
Cheerleader Jerry Harris, who was featured in Netflix’s “Cheer,” is under FBI investigation and a search warrant has been executed.
A USA TODAY investigation uncovered examples of people who continued working in cheer after being accused or convicted of crimes involving minors.
A USA TODAY investigation found a flawed process for handling reports in cheerleading, one that has allowed suspected abusers to remain around kids.
A USA TODAY investigation found Cheer Extreme offers a glaring example of how the sport’s weak child protection policies can put children at risk.
A year after USA TODAY revealed pervasive failures in cheerleading’s child protection policies, little has changed.

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