Content Warning: This story contains details about sexual abuse. Encourage season 2 left viewers with questions about where Jerry Harris is now and whether he is still in jail after his arrest in September 2020.
Jerry – a cast on Netflix Encourage, a documentary series about Navarro College’s cheerleading team in Corsicana, Texas – was arrested on September 17, 2020 on federal charges of producing child pornography. Jerry pleaded not guilty. “We categorically dispute the allegations against Jerry Harris, which allegedly happened when he was a teenager,” a Jerry representative said in a statement at the time. “We are convinced that once the investigation is complete, the true facts will be revealed.”
Monica Aldama, Jerry’s coach at Navarro College, broke his silence on his arrest in an Instagram post in September 2020. “My heart is broken in a million pieces. I am crushed by this shocking, unexpected news. Our children must be protected from abuse and exploitation, and I pray hard for the victims and all those affected. Please respect our privacy while our family mourns during this time, ”she wrote.
In an interview about Tamron Hall show in January 2022, Monica revealed that she was filming the first episode of Dancing With the Stars season 29, in which she was a participant, when an executive producer from the show told her about the charges against Jerry. “I was on stage. We were about to go into the full rehearsal, and that was when the executive producer came up to me and asked me if I had seen the headlines, and of course I did not,” she said. I was just surprised and it kind of took my breath away for a minute and the only thing I could read was the headline. I could not read the article itself. I still have not read the article itself… I told her I could not even look at it until I finished the show that night. ”
She continued, “I could not read anything. I had to stay emotionally strong because I was already a wreck when I was considering doing Dancing with the Stars. I was just trying to hold back until I got through that night. and let all the emotions flow in. ” Read on for where Jerry Harris is now and what happened to him during Encourage season 2.
What happened to Jerry Harris?
What happened to Jerry Harris? Jerry was arrested at his home in Naperville, Illinois, on September 17, 2020 by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and charged with manufacturing child pornography at a federal court in Chicago. (Production of child pornography has a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years.) According to a criminal complaint obtained by The New York Times, Jerry admitted in an interview with law enforcement officials three days before his arrest that he had requested and received child pornography from at least 10 to 15 minors he knew were minors. He also admitted to having sex with a 15-year-old at a cheerleading competition in 2019.
Jerry’s arrest also came after he was sued on September 14, 2020 in Texas by twin brothers Charlie and Sam, who claimed he sent and asked for sexually explicit messages and pictures from them via text and on social media. Charlie also claimed that Jerry asked him for sex at a cheerleading contest. According to the complaint, Charlie sent Jerry more than a dozen photos and videos of his genitals – at Jerry’s request – between December 2018 and March 2020. Charlie, who told Jerry he was 13 years old during their first online conversation, also claimed in the complaint that that Jerry posted pictures of his genitals and videos of him masturbating, as well as asking for oral sex in a bathroom at a cheerleading event they were both at. Sam claimed that Jerry also sent him sexually explicit messages in which he requested nude photos on Snapchat and asked to have sex in person. He also described Jerry as “affected” and claimed he was doing “strange things” to him and his twin. In the complaint, the twins’ mother, Kristen, told officers she found Jerry’s messages, which included explicit photos and a video, in February 2020. The complaint also stated that the mother asked Charlie to delete the messages, which he did.
In their lawsuit, the twins’ attorney claimed that Jerry “violated his role as mentor, coach, coach, sexually abused the plaintiffs and used his position of authority and power over the plaintiffs.” Jerry was 19 when he first communicated with the brothers. “We are grateful that the U.S. Attorney and the FBI have taken swift action to protect children by investigating, arresting and targeting Jerry Harris,” Morgan Stewart and Sarah Klein, attorneys for the twins, said in a statement at the time.
The trial said that Mr. Harris “violated his role as mentor, coach, coach, sexually abused the plaintiffs, and used his position of authority and power over the plaintiffs.” Mr. Harris became friends with the boys when he was 19. “We are grateful that the U.S. Attorney and the FBI have taken swift action to protect children by investigating, arresting and targeting Jerry Harris,” Morgan Stewart and Sarah Klein, attorneys for the boys, said in a statement Thursday.
In an interview with USA TODAY in September 2020, Klein stated that she hoped the public would “let the truth unfold” and not defend Jerry because of his fame. “He can be charming and funny and lovable and also engage in sexual activity with children,” Klein said. The report also included screenshots of various text and social media conversations between Jerry and the twins. In a Snapchat conversation, an account with the handle “.jerry harris” responded to a picture of Charlie stretching his leg over his head. “Do it naked and take a video and show me,” Jerry replied privately, according to a screenshot obtained by USA TODAY.
Charlie told the publication that he suffered from anxiety after his conversations with Jerry, which caused him to lose sleep, cry at school and watch his grades drop. “It just ate me alive,” he said. “It just made me so ugly and uncomfortable. Every time I saw his name or something, I just cried over it.” Charlie also told USA TODAY that Jerry put him in a corner of a bathroom at the American Cheerleaders Association’s national competition in Fort Worth, Texas, in February 2019, where he asked him to have sex. Charlie, who was 13 at the time, rejected Jerry, who was 19, and ran out of the bathroom. Three months later, Jerry asked Charlie for sex again at The Summit cheerleading competition in Orlando, Florida. “Hi by the way, I found a place where we could do things, that is actually pretty good haha ”sounded a text message that Jerry sent to Charlie on May 3, 2019 that USA TODAY has received. The publication also posted a screenshot of a Snapchat on February 6, 2020 that Jerry sent Sam with the caption:” Would you ever wish to **** “
The complaint against Jerry also included interviews with two 17-year-old and law enforcement officials. During the interview, one of the teens told that he met Jerry at a party in the summer of 2020, where he told him he was 17. Jerry later sent a message to the teen on Snapchat asking him for pictures. While the teenager did not send pictures at the time, he sent pictures to Jerry weeks later in exchange for money, which was sent by an electronic payment application. According to the complaint, the first teenager told another teenager about the exchange with Jerry, which prompted him to send him pictures as well. The complaint also claimed that Jerry paid one of the teens $ 500 for a video call in which the 17-year-old exposed himself. The teenager claimed that Jerry continued to send him messages all summer and paid him between $ 2,000 to $ 3,000 before sending him $ 500 on August 22, 2020 to end the relationship and block him on Snapchat.
Two months after his arrest, seven more charges were handed down involving five minors in Jerry’s case. Along with the charges he faced in September 2020, Jerry was also charged with receiving and attempting to receive child pornography and four charges of using, persuading, inciting and enticing a minor “to engage in explicit sexual conduct with it. purpose of producing a visual depiction of such behavior, and … transmission of a vivid visual depiction of such behavior ”in Naperville, Illinois (where he comes from), and Corsicana, Texas, where he attended Navarro College and filmed Encourage. Jerry was also charged with a case of Internet use in Orlando, Florida, for “persuading, encouraging and enticing” a minor to engage in sexual activity. According to the complaint, Jerry traveled from Texas to Florida “for the purpose of engaging in unlawful sexual conduct… with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a Younger 5 who was 15 years old” – four years younger than Jerry at the time.
Where’s Jerry Harris now?
Where’s Jerry Harris now? Following his arrest on September 17, 2020, Jerry was remanded in custody without restraint at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago, Illinois. In October 2020, Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Parente filed a lawsuit to hold Jerry in jail pending his trial. In the proposal, Parente stated that Jerry was “tipped” by a friend in May 2020 – four months before his arrest – which caused him to get rid of his mobile phone because he knew it had evidence of his crimes. Parente claimed that Jerry continued to communicate with minors with a new phone, even after he was warned.
Jerry’s lawyers at the time filed a motion for release prior to the trial, arguing that his previously clean record did not entitle him to stay in jail. However, U.S. District Court Judge Heather McShain rejected the proposal and decided on October 16, 2020, to keep Jerry behind bars on the grounds that he lacked control over his operations and posed “a significant danger to society.” Jerry pleaded not guilty at a court hearing in a federal court in Chicago on December 17, 2020, according to court records obtained by The New York Times.
Jerry’s arrest was mentioned in episode 5 of Encourage season 2. In the episode titled “Jerry”, the episode ended with the following text on the screen: “Jerry has been detained at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago since his arrest in September 2020. He is still awaiting trial. If he is convicted, he risks he has a mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen years. ” Encourage Director Greg Whiteley stated in the press notes for Encourage that he has not spoken to Jerry since his arrest because his lawyers have prevented it. Netflix also said Jerry’s lawyers declined to comment for the show. As of January 2022, Jerry is still being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago. No trial date has been set.
Encourage can be streamed on Netflix.