Harris, who became a viral star as a result of his inspiring “mat talk”, was arrested on Thursday, Sept. 17, a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois confirmed. The 21-year-old was charged with one count of producing child pornography for allegedly “enticing an underage boy to produce sexually explicit videos and photos of himself,” the press release stated. Per the release, “production of child pornography is punishable by a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years.” E! News has reached out to Harris’ attorney for comment and has not heard back.
According to an affidavit sworn to by an FBI special agent and filed as part of the criminal complaint, obtained by E! News, Harris admitted in an interview with law enforcement on Sept. 14 to asking an unidentified minor to take photographs and videos of his own private parts and send them to Harris via Snapchat while knowing the minor was 13 years old. Per the affidavit, Harris also admitted during the interview to having Snapchat conversations with the minor from December 2018 through March 2020, in which he repeatedly asked the minor to send naked photos. “Harris admitted to soliciting and receiving child pornography on Snapchat from at least between 10 to 15 other individuals he knew were minors,” the affidavit further stated.
“We are grateful that the U.S. Attorney and the FBI have taken swift action to protect children by investigating, arresting and charging Jerry Harris,” Morgan Stewart and Sarah Klein of Manly, Stewart & Finaldi told E! News. “This was made possible because our clients’ mother had the courage to report Harris to the FBI as well as the Fort Worth Police Department and provided evidentiary proof of the manipulation, sexual harassment, abuse, and exploitation that her sons had suffered.”