YouTube Star Austin Jones Arrested On Child Pornography Charges
Austin Jones, 24, was arrested Monday night on child pornography charges.
Jones, who rose to fame on YouTube through his a capella pop music covers, was charged with two counts of production of child pornography. The YouTube star appeared in court for a detention on Wednesday but will remain in federal custody until then. According to prosecutors, Jones is a “risk to the community and there’s danger he’ll flee.”
If convicted, the pop singer will face a minimum of 15 years in prison. According to court documents Jones was allegedly communicating with two underage female victims in August 2016 and May 2017 over Facebook. The criminal complaint describes Jones requesting that one of the girls “prove” she was his “biggest fan” by sending him sexually explicit videos.
The documents state Jones was stopped by Customs and Border Patrol and Homeland Security Investigations at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago and taken into custody. While in custody, Jones gave a recorded interview admitting to the charges.
This is not the first time he has solicited videos from underage girls, however. The internet personality issued an apology in 2015 over allegations that he lied about his age in order to get underage girls to send him “twerking” videos. It is unclear if any legal action was brought against the singer for this incident.
Jones, in a statement to Facebook after the 2015 incident, said:
I’m embarrassed. I’d have conversations online with girls that would involve me asking them to create a video of themselves twerking. Sometimes I’d make videos of myself doing some twerk moves in return. Here’s the truth: I NEVER asked them to do anything more than send a twerking video. Nothing EVER went beyond that. I’ve been in therapy, seeking help to discover why I communicated with my fans in a way that I have come to fully realize was not appropriate… To anyone that I have made feel uncomfortable or awkward, I am deeply sorry for the hurt and shame I may have caused you.
Despite his lengthy apology for the 2015 allegations, Jones has yet to comment on his arrest and the current charges against him.