‘Cheer’ star Jerry Harris arrested on child pornography charges

The 21-year-old woke up behind bars Friday as he faces allegations of sexual misconduct with minors.
4:02 | 09/18/20

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Transcript for ‘Cheer’ star Jerry Harris arrested on child pornography charges
We'll switch gears. We have a 'tis durbining story. It's that bombshell arrest of "Cheer" star Jerry Harris, the 21-year-old is behind bars this morning as he is facing allegations of producing child pornography as a new investigation uncovers nearly 180 individuals affiliated with cheerleading who have faced charges involving misconduct with minors but weren't actually banned by the sport. Gio Benitez has more on this. Good morning, gio. Reporter: Hey, Cecilia, good morning. Yeah, this story comes as a shock to so many fans of that Netflix show "Cheer." Jerry Harris was interviewed by law enforcement this week and now this arrest. Yes. Get it up. Reporter: He's a breakout star of the hot Netflix docu-series "Cheer." 21-year-old Jerry Harris ruled the mat. Get it. Reporter: The Oscar's red carpet also. You're going to L.A. And be Ellen's correspondent on the red carpet at the oscars. Oh, my gosh. Reporter: Teaming up with everyone from Ellen DeGeneres to Oprah. But this morning Harris is waking up to a very different reality. Arrested and charged in Chicago federal court with producing child pornography. The TV star accused of contacting two underage boys on social media and repeatedly asking them to produce and send sexually explicit videos and photographs of themselves, allegations he denies. If convicted Harris could face 15 to 30 years in prison. The family is feeling a tremendous sense of relief today that they were heard and that they are being believed and that the truth will ultimately come Reporter: Netflix telling ABC news, like everyone we are shocked by this news. Any abuse of minors is a terrible crime and we respect the legal process. And now another bombshell allegation rocking the world of cheerleading. A new exclusive "Usa today" investigation identifying nearly 180 people affiliated with the sport who have faced charges for crimes relating to sexual misconduct involving minors but were not banned by the sport's two governing bodies U.S. All-star federation and usa cheer. It requires those who go backstage at the competition to be members of the organization and to be background checked but the U.S. All-star federation doesn't tell those gyms they can't hire someone who has a conviction on their record or someone who is facing active charges. Reporter: The paper finding that as many as 140 adults including coaches and choreographers have criminal histories and 74 are registered sex offenders. Among them Ohio gym owner and coach Michele Robinson who helps operate a gym sanctioned by usasf. She put her sister's name on the application because she knew her 2006 conviction for sexual battery of a 17-year-old boy would show up on a background check. My sister is actually the registered owner with usaf. At a competition I can't go in the back. I'm a paid spectator when I go. There's no way I could ever pass their background check. They're very strict about it. Reporter: U.S. Cheer saying usa cheer takes sexual misconduct seriously providing a healthy and safe environment for kids to train and compete is our highest priority. Unfortunately we live in a world where we, of course, want to trust people but we also have to be diligent about checking information and making sure that the people who are around our children are safe. Reporter: And the vice president over at usaf told us that the organization leads the way on athlete safety adding, I think you would be hard-pressed to find another youth sport organization that has dedicated the time and the effort that we have to these nonsporting for more on this investigation check out "Usa today" right now. Cecilia. Okay, gio, thank you so much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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