YouTube singer Austin Jones is in trouble for exploiting his underaged fans. The twenty-six-year-old rose to fan 26, with a capella covers of popular songs, performing on tour nationwide, with teenage girls falling head over heels for him in the name of being fans.
Jones has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for asking minors to send him explicit videos of themselves with sexual content to show that they are truly his fans. He pleaded guilty in February admitting to enticing six underage girls to make pornographic videos of themselves and send them to him using Facebook approximately 30 other times, only to be put behind bars on Friday by a District Judge.
“Production and receipt of child pornography are extraordinarily serious offenses that threaten the safety of our children and communities. Jones’ actions took something from his victims and their families that they will never be able to get back” Assistant U.S. Attorney said in the government’s sentencing memorandum.
“To get the videos, Jones told some of the girls to ‘prove’ they were his biggest fans, that they were part of a modeling opportunity, and that he could assist them in gaining followers on Instagram,” the Department of Justice said.
In June 2015, Jones posted a 16-minute YouTube video in which he looked directly into the camera and admitted that he used to ask fans to send him twerking videos.
“Nothing ever went further than twerking videos. There were never any nudes, never any physical contact,” he said.
A federal criminal complaint cites two instances of him messaging teenage girls to send him explicit videos of themselves dancing. Jones messaged a 14 years old girl allegedly asking her to send videos of herself dancing in a sexual manner and referred to it as a “try out” and an “opportunity.” According to the complaint, Jones instructed the girls on how to shake or “clap” their buttocks and expose themselves in videos for him.
Jones was first arrested in June 2017 at O’Hare International Airport and questioned in a recorded interview, the complaint states on two counts of production of child pornography.