- A YouTuber famous for a capella music covers on Friday pleaded guilty to a child porn charge involving a 14-year-old girl.
- Prosecutors say Austin Jones, 26, solicited sexual videos from two teen girls in June 2017, which they say he admitted were for his sexual pleasure.
- Jones told one 14-year-old to strip to “prove” she was his biggest fan, they said.
- The charge which he admitted carries a sentence of between five and 20 years in prison.
- Jones has 535,000 YouTube subscribers and 41 million views for his medley covers of My Chemical Romance and Justin Bieber.
A YouTuber who racked up millions of views with a capella covers of pop songs has admitted a child pornography charge which carries a prison term of at least five years.
26-year-old Austin Jones pleaded guilty to a single charge of production of child pornography at the Northern District of Illinois federal court on Friday, according to ABC 7 and the Associated Press.
Prosecutors say Jones encouraged several teenage girls to send him sexually explicit videos of themselves.
In a plea deal submitted Friday, cited by the Chicago Tribune, he admitted the charge. It relates to six 14 and 15-year-old girls whom he asked for material between 2010 to 2017.
Jones, who describes himself as an “alternative pop vocalist from Chicago,” covered artists including My Chemical Romance and Justice Bieber.
According to the criminal complaint, filed in June 2017, he admitted to law enforcement officers that the videos were for his “own sexual pleasure.”
The complaint, reviewed by INSIDER, says Jones: “Persuaded, induced, and enticed a minor, namely Victim A, to engage in sexually explicit conduct.”
Jones used Facebook Messenger to solicit explicit videos between August 2016 and May 2017, the complaint says, and allegedly told one girl he was giving her a “modelling opportunity” which required her to strip for him.
During one Facebook exchange, one girl repeatedly told him she was 14, the complaint alleged, and said she knew Jones was, at the time, 24. That girl sent Jones 15 videos, the complaint said.
Prosecutors wrote in the complaint that a total of six teen girls sent Jones 66 photos and videos, and said he tried to obtain images from 30 other girls.
Jones is not in custody and the judge has let him continue to seek “psychiatric counseling” until his sentencing on May 3, 2019, the Associated Press reported.
He faces a minimum of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years.
Jones has 535,000 subscribers and his music videos have 40,963,992 views his YouTube channel.
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