YouTube star Austin Jones charged with child porn counts in Chicago

Austin Jones | Twitter profile photo

The teenage girl had the attention of Austin Jones — a YouTube sensation whose music videos have been viewed millions of times.

They were chatting on Facebook. She was 14. Roughly a decade younger than Jones.

 She told him she was his biggest fan. And he told her to “prove” it.

Now, Jones, 24, is in federal custody and facing two counts of production of child pornography. The charges could land him in prison for at least 15 years. He looked scared and timid as he was led into a courtroom Tuesday in the Dirksen Federal Courthouse. A judge is expected to decide whether Jones remains in federal custody during a Wednesday hearing.

The singer, who lives in Bloomingdale, was arrested Monday at O’Hare Airport. His Twitter account indicates he was on an international tour. U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Mason repeatedly told him during a brief hearing that he would have to pay for his own attorney. It was not clear Tuesday night if he had hired one.

Jones’ music is described online as “earnest, emo-influenced melodic pop music.” The feds noted that his primary fan base appears to be “teenage girls.”

Last month, Jones reportedly acknowledged that he had “conversations online with girls that would involve me asking them to create a video of themselves twerking.” He added that “I NEVER asked them to do anything more than send a twerking video.”

But a criminal complaint revealed Tuesday describes Jones taking full advantage of his fame to pressure young girls to expose themselves.

One girl made videos through Facebook for Jones on May 4. She called it an “audition.” Though she told him she “might pass out” and was tired from doing what he asked, Jones allegedly pressed her to “work really hard.” During their Facebook exchange, she allegedly acknowledged Jones was 24. And at his request, she repeatedly said in the video she was “only 14,” the feds say.

That victim sent Jones 15 videos, including 10 videos of her exposing herself, according to the complaint. Jones allegedly told her what to wear, how to dance and how to adjust the camera “so I can see you from head to toe.”

In a chat in August with another victim, Jones allegedly acknowledged the girl was 14 and that he was 23 at the time. He allegedly asked her to “prove” she was his biggest fan and that, if she was “lucky,” she would get to perform a sex act on him.

The feds said the girl sent him 25 videos, including eight of her exposing her genitals.

After his arrest, Jones admitted requesting and receiving videos from the victims, and he admitted it was for sexual pleasure, according to the complaint.

 

 

 

Previously from Chicago News