YouTube singer Austin Jones has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for asking underage girls to send him sexually explicit videos of themselves to prove they are fans.
Jones, 26, sang a capella covers of popular songs and performed on a national tour. Most of Chicago’s suburban singer fanatics were teenagers.
In 2017, he was arrested on two counts of production of child pornography. Jones admitted that he had attracted six underage girls to make pornographic videos and send them to them, according to a plea agreement. The girls were only 14 years old.
He pleaded guilty in February and Friday in the United States. District Judge John Z. Lee sentenced him to 10 years in federal prison.
“The production and reception of child pornography are extraordinarily serious crimes that threaten the safety of our children and communities,” said United States Deputy Attorney Katherine Neff Welsh in the government’s sentencing memorandum. “Jones’ actions took something from his victims and their families that they will never be able to recover.”
To get the videos, Jones told some of the girls to “prove” that they were his biggest fans, “that” they were part of a model opportunity and that he could help them gain followers on Instagram, “the Justice Department said. .
Jones admitted that he used Facebook to persuade underage girls to send him pornographic videos and photos approximately 30 more times.
Even before his arrest, Jones had been attacked for his interactions with the young fans. In June 2015, he posted a 16-minute video on YouTube in which he looked directly at the camera and admitted that he used to ask fans to send him twerking videos.
“Nothing went beyond the twerking videos,” he said. “There were never nudes, there was never physical contact.”
Jones was arrested for the first time in June 2017 at the O’Hare International Airport and was questioned in a taped interview, according to the complaint. He renounced his Miranda rights and admitted that he used Facebook to have explicit sex chats with underage girls, receive explicit videos from them and watch those videos for sexual pleasure.
A federal criminal complaint cites two cases in which Jones sent messages to teenagers who sent him explicit videos of themselves dancing.
In one example, Jones sent a message to a girl who told her he was 14 years old. Jones allegedly asked her to send videos of herself dancing in a sexual way and referred to this as a “test” 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.
“At the beginning, get close and say these lines: hey Austin, it’s (name) and this ass has (age) years and then he applauds for 30 seconds.” Understood? Jones wrote on Facebook to the girl, the complaint says.
She finally sent him approximately 15 videos of her dance, including 10 videos in which she herself was exposed, the complaint states.