By Sandra Rose  | 

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Getty Image, Mail Online

Former "Cheer" star Jerry Harris was sentenced to 12 years in prison for soliciting explicit images from minors.

Harris, 22, was indicted on seven counts of receiving explicit images of children and persuading minors to engage in sexual contact.

In February he pleaded guilty to one count of traveling across state lines with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct and one count of receiving child pornography, a U.S. attorney's office spokesman said.

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CBS 2

Prosecutors say Harris persuaded a 17-year-old boy to send him explicit images in exchange for money. Harris also plead guilty to taking a trip to Florida for the purpose of engaging in a sexual act with a 15-year-old boy.

A judge sentenced Harris to 12 years in prison, followed by 8 years of court-supervised release, Joseph D. Fitzpatrick, assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, confirmed to NBC News.

Harris had faced a sentence ranging from five to 20 years on the child pornography charge and a maximum sentence of 30 years on the second federal charge.

Harris was a breakout star on Netflix's "Cheer." As an openly gay Black male in Hollywood, Harris was praised by such bold names as Oprah Winfrey, Beyonce, Gabrielle Union and Vice President Kamala Harris, among others.