A young celebrity who proudly supported then-candidate Joe Biden and served as a surrogate for the Biden campaign was just sentenced to a dozen years in prison for possession of child pornography.
Jerry Harris, a star of the Netflix series “Cheer,” will also face additional restrictions and have to pay fines and restitution once his 12 years in federal prison have been completed, Breitbart reported.
It is a stunning turn of events for the 21-year-old actor who had chatted with the soon-to-be President Biden just weeks before his arrest on child pornography charges in October 2020.
The sentencing follows a plea deal
Chicago’s WGN9 reported that Harris, a native of nearby Naperville, Illinois, and star of Netflix’s “Cheer” series, was sentenced Wednesday to serve 12 years in federal prison.
Harris will also be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, serve eight years of supervised release once his prison sentence is concluded, and pay a $55,000 fine as well as yet-to-be-determined restitution to his victims.
The sentence is the result of a plea deal reached in February in which Harris agreed to plead guilty to one count of receipt of child pornography as well as one count of travel with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct.
Evidence was ready for presentation at trial
Prosecutors had previously stated that, had the case gone to trial, they were prepared to present evidence proving that Harris in 2020 had knowingly communicated via social media with a minor under the age of 18 and had repeatedly asked for pictures of a sexual nature.
They would also show that Harris had knowingly traveled from Dallas, Texas to Orlando, Florida for the specific purpose of engaging in sexual conduct with a 15-year-old in a public restroom.
Breitbart noted that, according to an affidavit filed against the young actor, had engaged in “one in-person encounter” with the minor in Florida and “solicited oral sex” from that minor “in a bathroom at a cheerleading event.”
Defense attorneys tried to excuse Harris’ behavior
WGN had previously reported this year that Harris’ defense team had sought to excuse the actor’s criminal behavior by suggesting it was commonplace in his community and that he had been a victim of similar abuse when he was younger.
The attorneys said the alleged criminal conduct “took place in the context of a competitive Cheer Community where inappropriately sexualizing and sexually abusing children was far too common and too often overlooked. Jerry was himself exploited, manipulated, and sexually abused as a child within the Cheer Community in a way that perversely made him believe that this sexual conduct was somehow normal when it was not.”
It will be interesting to see if the Biden White House makes any mention of this development regarding the disgustingly predatory criminal behavior of a supporter and former campaign surrogate and whether the president’s team disavows and distances itself from Harris or somehow attempts to downplay or excuse his unacceptable conduct with minors.