(NewsGlobal.com)- A 22-year-old actor who campaigned for Joe Biden in 2020 was sentenced to twelve years in prison last week after pleading guilty to sending and receiving child pornography and soliciting sex from minors.
Jerry Harris, who appeared in the Netflix series “Cheer,” pleaded guilty in February to one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of traveling with the intent to engage in illegal sexual content.
Last Wednesday, US Judge Manish Shah sentenced Harris in federal court in Chicago.
In the plea agreement, Harris admitted that he paid an underage boy $2,000 in exchange for explicit materials. He acknowledged asking for and receiving child pornography from two other boys and admitted traveling from Texas to Florida in 2019 to meet a 15-year-old boy whom he sexually assaulted.
During the 2020 presidential election, Harris became one of the Biden campaign’s celebrity surrogates. He was arrested that year for sending explicit videos and photos to an underage boy and soliciting explicit materials from the boy.
Netflix dropped him from “Cheer” after his arrest.
Prosecutors argued that Harris is a “child predator” who used his celebrity status to sexually exploit minors. The prosecution requested 15 years followed by 10 years of supervised release.
The defense argued that Harris was sexually abused as a child and asked that he serve only 72 months.
Before sentencing was announced, Harris apologized to his victims, saying he was “deeply sorry” for the trauma his abuse caused. Harris said he isn’t “an evil person” and claimed that he is “still learning” who he is and his purpose.
During sentencing, Judge Shaw said Harris should consider the 12-year sentence an “expression of the seriousness of your crimes, tempered with some hope that all is not lost for you or your victims.”
Sarah Klein, the attorney representing two of Harris’ victims said in a statement that his guilt is “firmly established” and his 12-year sentence “reflects the severity of his crimes and the lifetime of pain his victims will suffer.”