Two more men who appeared on Netflix's documentary series Cheer have been arrested for alleged sexual misconduct with minors. Mitchell Ryan, 23, was arrested in Texas Wednesday for an alleged incident in July 2020. Robert Joseph Scianna Jr., 25, was arrested on the same day in Chesterfield County, Virginia. Last year, Jerry Harris, one of the featured cheerleaders in Cheer, faced charges of production of child pornography and sexual misconduct involving minors.
Scianna was charged with felony counts of taking indecent liberties with a child and using an electronic communication device to solicit sex; the Chesterfield County Police Department told USA Today. The coach and choreographer allegedly scheduled a meeting with a juvenile he met on a social media platform for sex. Scianna has not commented on the allegations.
Ryan was a member of the Navarro College cheer team at the center of the documentary series. According to the Dallas County Sheriff's Department records, he was charged with felony aggravated sexual assault of a child stemming from an alleged incident on July 24, 2020. "This has been a nightmare for Mitch and his family," his attorney, Jeremy Rosenthal, told USA Today. "We look forward to Dallas County hearing the truth and this case being over."
The U.S. All-Star Federation (USAF), an organization of young athletes in cheerleading, said it was "outraged by the reports of sexual misconduct," reports BuzzFeed News. They were not aware of the allegations against Scianna before his arrest, but they did receive a complaint about Ryan in October. "We immediately ensured that it had been reported to law enforcement and later began an investigation of our own, which was ongoing when he was arrested," the organization said of Ryan. Both men were put on the "Unified Ineligibility List."
Cheer previously came under scrutiny last year when Harris, the 21-year-old who became an instant celebrity thanks to the show, was arrested for alleged misconduct with minors. In September 2020, the FBI announced it had a warrant for Harris' arrest for allegedly soliciting sex from minors. He was later charged in federal court for the production of child pornography. In December, Harris was indicted on seven more federal charges, with prosecutors accusing him of enticing minors to engage in sex. The charges involve alleged incidents with four minors between August 2017 and August 2020. At the time of his arrest in September, Harris' spokesperson said he denied the allegations.
Netflix has not commented on the latest arrests but did release a brief statement after Harris was taken into custody. "Like everyone, we are shocked by this news. Any abuse of minors is a terrible crime and we respect the legal process," the streaming giant said.
Cheer was released on Netflix in January 2020 and earned rave reviews. The series also won three of the five Emmys nominated for, including the Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program. The show also turned many of its subjects into stars, including coach Monica Aldama, who competed on Dancing With the Stars.