YouTube star, Austin Jones, 24, who has millions of teen fans, now faces child pornography charges after he asked two teen girls, who were minors, to send him sexually explicit videos of themselves in order to prove who was his biggest fan. Jones, whose music videos on the Internet have been seen millions of times, lives in Bloomingdale, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.
USA Today reported that Austin Jones appeared in U.S. District Court in Chicago clad in ankle chains and an orange prison jumpsuit following his arrest on Monday at Chicago’s International O’Hare Airport. U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Mason asked Jones if he understood that he had been charged with committing two counts of producing child pornography. Jones quietly answered in the affirmative, calling the judge “your honor,” as he told him “Yes.”
The two underage teen girls have been designated as “Victim A” and “Victim B,” in the criminal complaint filed against Austin Jones. Both of the teens were about 14 years old when Jones communicated with them via texting and on social media. He allegedly encouraged them to make and send him sexually explicit videos to prove who was the YouTube celeb’s “biggest fan.”
Austin Jones has had some of his YouTube music videos watched millions of times, leading to his going out on tours. Jones has toured both in the United States and recently, he even toured some countries in Europe.
Jones sings both his own original songs, as well as covers of pop songs by musical artists like Justin Bieber. The criminal complaint said that Jones shares a similar fan base like Bieber has, one made up of mostly “teenage girls.”
NBC Chicago reported that Austin Jones apologized in 2015 for having asked some of his underage teen fans on social media to “twerk” for him. This time, according to the criminal complaint filed against Jones, he asked the two underage teen girls to make “sexually compromising videos” of themselves and send them to him.
The bond hearing for Jones has been scheduled for Wednesday. Prosecutors have said they are planning on opposing his release from the federal jail where he is incarcerated at in Chicago.
Jones, who does not have an attorney has not entered a plea yet. He will do that at an arraignment the is coming up soon.
Austin Jones is convicted, each count he faces of producing child pornography could result in his being sentenced to a minimum of 15 years in jail. The maximum he could face would be 30 years for each of the two counts.
The criminal complaint against Jones alleges that in August 2016 and May 2017, he told the underage teenagers “how to perform sex acts.” He also told them what to say and what to wear for the explicit videos.
He admitted to the Homeland Security Investigators who arrested him that he had asked the two underage teenage girls to dance partially naked in some of the videos.
Jones encouraged both of the teens to continue making the videos for him, even when both of them spoke to him about “reservations” they had. The filing said that Victim A told him on multiple occasions she was just 14.
Austin Jones seemed to know what he was asking the underage girls to do was wrong. He allegedly gave Victim B “detailed directions” by writing to her in an online chat. He told her he knew she was trying her hardest to prove she was his “biggest fan.”
When Victim A asked Austin Jones for a promise he would not post a video of her anywhere on social media, he allegedly responded by telling her he deletes the videos after he scores them. The criminal complaint alleges that Victim A sent Jones about 15 videos and investigators said that Victim B sent him around 25 videos.
On Monday, YouTube musical artist, Austin Jones, 24, was arrested at Chicago’s International O’Hare Airport on two charges of producing child pornography by his having allegedly asked two underage teen girls to send him sexually explicit videos of themselves. His videos have attracted millions of viewers, mostly young teen girls, and have led to his going out on tours. If Jones is convicted of the two counts against him, he will be spending the next several years, or possibly even decades, behind bars.
By John Samuels
Photo Courtesy YouTube