Cheer coach Monica Aldama is "devastated" by news of Jerry Harris' arrest on a federal charge for allegedly producing child pornography. The head coach of the Navarro College cheerleading squad, who was featured alongside Harris, 21, on the beloved Netflix series, issued a statement on social media while quarantining and rehearsing for Dancing With the Stars.
"My heart is shattered into a million pieces. I am devastated by this shocking, unexpected news," Aldama wrote on Instagram, turning off the comments for the post. "Our children must be protected from abuse and exploitation, and I'm praying hard for the victims and everyone affected. Please respect our privacy as our family mourns during this heartbreaking time."
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Thursday, Harris was charged in Chicago for "allegedly enticing an underage boy to produce sexually explicit videos and photos of himself," according to a statement from federal prosecutors. Harris is accused of contacting an underage boy on social media, and having "repeatedly enticed him to produce sexually explicit videos and photographs of himself and send them to [him]," according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago, as reported by PEOPLE. Harris was allegedly informed during his initial encounter with the underage boy that he was 13. In the criminal complaint against Harris are also allegations that the boy told his mother Harris had solicited oral sex from him in a bathroom at a cheerleading competition. Harris is also accused of soliciting and receiving child pornography on Snapchat from "at least between 10 to 15 other individuals he knew were minors."
The charges came just days after two underage brothers filed a lawsuit against the Cheer star for allegedly sexually abusing them and demanding nude photographs from them. Manly, Stewart & Finaldi, the firm representing the twins in a civil suit, confirmed in a statement to PEOPLE that the alleged victim in the criminal accusation is one of the twins.
A spokesperson for Harris told the magazine Monday, "We categorically dispute the claims made against Jerry Harris, which are alleged to have occurred when he was a teenager. We are confident that when the investigation is completed the true facts will be revealed." A Netflix spokesperson added to the outlet, "Like everyone we are shocked by this news. Any abuse of minors is a terrible crime and we respect the legal process."