Following the arrest of Jerry Harris of the Netflix docuseries “Cheer" on child pornography charges comes a shocking investigation into the world of cheerleading. Nearly 180 individuals, including coaches and choreographers, affiliated with cheerleading have faced sexual misconduct charges involving minors, USA Today found in their new report.
It also found that 74 of the 180 people are registered sex offenders. Reporters Marisa Kwiatkowski and Tricia Nadolny broke the story.
"They range from high school cheer coaches who were convicted of misconduct with a student or with someone on their high school cheer team, all the way through coaches who worked at the competitive level," Nadolny told Inside Edition.
Mishelle Robinson, a coach from Ohio, served four years in prison for sexual battery on a 17-year-old boy in 2005. She was confronted by the USA Today reporters.
"She told us that there were no secrets in her gym, and that she was very open with families about her criminal history," Kwiatkowski told Inside Edition.
Robinson said she "just wanted a second chance."
None of the sex offenders were banned by the sport's governing body, U.S. All Star Federation, which said in a statement, "We hold our members accountable for providing the standard of care that our athletes deserve."
Robinson and some other offenders have been banned by the sport's other governing body, USA Cheer, which said it "takes sexual misconduct allegations very seriously. Providing a safe environment for kids to train and compete is our highest priority."
Meanwhile, the cheerleading world is reacting to the arrest of 21-year-old Harris. His high energy personality made him a media sensation and he was tapped by Ellen DeGeneres to work the Oscars red carpet.
The other breakout star of "Cheer," coach Monica Aldama, is currently competing on "Dancing With the Stars." She reacted to the news on Instagram, saying, "My heart is shattered into a million pieces. Our children must be protected from abuse and exploitation."
Harris denies any wrongdoing.