Two cheerleaders featured in the Netflix series Cheer have been arrested in separate criminal cases relating to alleged sexual misconduct involving minors, months after one of the show’s stars was charged with child pornography.
Robert Joseph Scianna Jr., a 25-year-old coach and choreographer, was arrested on Wednesday in Virginia and 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 said he arranged to meet a 14-year-old boy whom he met through a social media platform for sex. He was arrested before that meeting took place.
Meanwhile, Mitchell Ryan, a member of the Navarro College cheer team who also featured in Cheer, was arrested on the same day in Texas. Ryan, 23, was charged with felony aggravated sexual assault of a child relating to an incident that allegedly occurred in July according to USA Today, citing Dallas County Sheriff’s Department records.
Robert Joseph Scianna Jr., 25, and Mitchell Ryan, 23, were both arrested on Wednesday in separate criminal cases relating to alleged sexual misconduct involving minors
Chesterfield County Police Department said Scianna arranged to meet a 14-year-old boy whom he met through a social media platform for sex. He was arrested before meeting him
Scianna is a 25-year-old coach and choreographer with a large international fanbase
Scianna was charged with felony counts of taking indecent liberties with a child and using an electronic communication device to solicit sex
‘This has been a nightmare for Mitch and his family,’ Ryan’s attorney Jeremy Rosenthal said.
‘We look forward to Dallas County hearing the truth and this case being over.’ Rosenthal declined to comment further comment.
Netflix has declined to comment on the arrests but has instead referred to a prior statement made after star Jerry Harris was arrested on child porn and more charges: ‘Like everyone we are shocked by this news. Any abuse of minors is a terrible crime and we respect the legal process.’
In December, fellow Cheer star Jerry Harris has pleaded not guilty to numerous felony charges, three months after he was first arrested and charged with producing child porn
In December, Harris, who was already facing federal child pornography charges, was indicted on new charges that alleged he solicited sex from minors at cheerleading competitions and convinced teenage boys to send him obscene photographs and videos of themselves.
The new seven-count indictment that was made public in December was not unexpected.
In the original complaint filed in September, not only did prosecutors allege that Harris admitted to FBI agents to asking a teenage boy to send him lewd photographs of himself but that he also requested on Snapchat child pornography from at least 10 to 15 others he knew to be minors.
Harris, 21, of Naperville, Illinois, has been held in a federal detention facility without bond since he was arrested in September, and a judge has subsequently suggested that Harris would pose a public danger if released from custody.
The allegations are that he convinced teenage boys to send him sexually explicit photos and videos of themselves
Attorneys for two of Harris’ alleged victims, teenage brothers who have sued Harris in Texas, praised authorities willingness to continue to ‘locate victims and take action.’
‘This was made possible because our clients’ mother initially had the courage to report Harris to the FBI and provided evidentiary proof of the manipulation, sexual harassment, abuse, and exploitation that her sons had suffered,’ the statement from attorneys Morgan Stewart and Sarah Klein read.
Harris, who was born in the Chicago suburb of Hinsdale and raised in Bolingbrook, was the breakout star of the Emmy-winning docuseries that follows the cheerleading team from Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas.
Cheer was an instant success when it was released in January 2020.
Harris drew fans for his upbeat attitude and his encouraging ‘mat talk.’
Source: Daily Mail |World News