‘Cheer’ star Jerry Harris was warned earlier than little one porn arrest the proprietor of a health club featured on ‘AGT,’ lawsuit claims


4 months earlier than his arrest for sexual exploitation of youngsters, cheerleader Jerry Harris ditched his cellphone after a pal advised him he is likely to be beneath investigation, federal prosecutors say. Authorities haven’t named the one that warned Harris, saying solely that it was somebody who owns a health club.

An amended lawsuit filed Monday claims the unnamed pal is Angela Rogers, co-owner of Cheer Athletics, a distinguished cheerleading firm whose Wildcats group competed this yr on NBC’s “America’s Bought Expertise.”

The swimsuit, filed the household of two Texas brothers who’ve accused Harris of abuse, didn’t present proof for the declare. However a timeline the household beforehand offered to USA TODAY signifies Rogers was one among only some individuals who knew in regards to the boys’ allegations in Might — which is the month prosecutors say Harris acquired the warning from his pal. The boys’ mom Kristen stated she spoke to Rogers in regards to the allegations as a result of Harris had been an athlete at Cheer Athletics.

In a assertion to USA TODAY, Rogers stated: “Cheer Athletics and Angela Rogers categorically deny the allegations made towards them. The amended petition comprises inaccuracies and is deceptive.”

Rogers went on to refute a number of particular claims contained within the lawsuit, together with that she tried to assist conceal or destroy proof. She didn’t explicitly deny that she was the one who had knowledgeable Harris. When USA TODAY pressed Rogers on that time, she reiterated her earlier assertion, usually denying the allegations towards her.

Inside days of studying of the allegations, Rogers reported them to a number of legislation enforcement companies and to the U.S. All Star Federation (USASF), which governs aggressive cheerleading, in accordance with interviews and information obtained USA TODAY. Rogers beforehand stated Harris had not been affiliated with Cheer Athletics since March 1.

Harris, 21, is being held within the Metropolitan Correctional Heart in Chicago whereas his legal case is pending. If convicted, he faces as much as 30 years in jail.

Harris rose to fame when he was featured in Netflix’s “Cheer” docuseries. Prosecutors say Harris admitted final month to soliciting nude pictures or intercourse from between 5 to 10 youngsters, to having intercourse with a 15-year-old boy within the toilet at a cheerleading competitors and to paying minors greater than $1,000 for express pictures.

Harris’ legal professional, Todd Pugh, didn’t reply to a request for remark.

The FBI started investigating Harris earlier this yr after being contacted Kristen, whose 15-year-old twin sons accused Harris of abuse. The boys, whose accounts had been first printed USA TODAY in September as a part of a broader investigation into misconduct in cheerleading, stated they had been harassed Harris each on-line and at cheer competitions for greater than a yr, beginning once they had been 13 and Harris was 19.

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The household’s civil lawsuit, which was amended Monday, had initially been filed in September towards Harris, Cheer Athletics, Varsity and USASF, courtroom information present. In it, the household accuses Harris of sexual misconduct and the cheer organizations of negligence and failures to guard the boys from abuse.

Assistant U.S. Lawyer Christopher Parente, in a courtroom movement filed final week making his case for retaining Harris behind bars, stated a pal contacted Harris a few potential investigation. Parente didn’t present the courtroom with the title of the pal or say why that particular person “tipped off” Harris. He stated Harris advised authorities he removed his cellphone as a result of he knew it contained proof of his crimes. The prosecutor stated that even after being warned in Might, Harris bought a brand new cellphone and stored preying on children.

Rogers and Cheer Athletics continued to publicly help Harris within the months after Rogers realized Harris was accused of sexual misconduct.

Jerry Harris attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted  Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 9 in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Jerry Harris attends the 2020 Vainness Honest Oscar Social gathering hosted Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Heart for the Performing Arts on Feb. 9 in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Two weeks after she grew to become conscious of the allegations, Rogers responded to a tweet from Harris encouraging individuals to vote within the presidential election. “Love this and also you!” Rogers tweeted Might 30.

“I like you a lot coach Angela!” Harris replied.

In July, when “Cheer” was nominated for six Emmy awards, Cheer Athletics posted a photograph of a beaming Harris on its Instagram account with the caption, “Our temper after listening to that our mates from @navarro_college_cheer acquired 6 EMMY nominations this morning.”

Marisa Kwiatkowski and Tricia L. Nadolny are reporters on USA TODAY’s nationwide investigative group. Marisa will be reached at mkwiatko@usatoday.com, @IndyMarisaK or cellphone, Sign or WhatsApp at (317) 207-2855. Tricia will be reached tnadolny@usatoday.com or @TriciaNadolny.

This text initially appeared on USA TODAY: Jerry Harris of ‘Cheer’ warned ‘AGT’ group’s proprietor, swimsuit says



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