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Austin Jones | Twitter account

YouTube star Austin Jones pleads guilty to child porn charge

SHARE YouTube star Austin Jones pleads guilty to child porn charge
SHARE YouTube star Austin Jones pleads guilty to child porn charge

Austin Jones — the YouTube star whose music has been heard millions of times — pleaded guilty to one count of receipt of child pornography Friday.

The plea was entered seven months after Jones, of west suburban Bloomingdale, was arrested at O’Hare Airport upon return from an international tour.

Jones, who was initially charged with two counts of production of child pornography, is scheduled to be sentenced on May 3 and will be allowed to stay out of jail to continue his therapy prior to his incarceration.

Jones could face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison with a fine of up to $250,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Welsh laid out, in graphic detail, how the 26-year-old Jones solicited lewd photos and videos from 14- and 15-year-old girls between August 2016 and May 2017 through Facebook Messenger.

On several occasions, Welsh said, Jones told the girls that they he was giving them a “modeling opportunity” that required them to strip and show him their breasts, genitals, buttocks and anus.

Welsh said six girls, all 14 or 15 at the time, sent Jones 66 lewd photos and videos at his behest and instruction.

According to prosecutors, Jones told one victim to take her pants off and say to him: “Hey Austin, I’m only 14. This ass is only 14” and “Watch my 14-year-old butt bounce, Austin.”

Welsh said that Jones tried to solicit lewd photos and videos from approximately 30 other girls before he was arrested.

Jones, dressed in a black suit and tie with his blonde hair swept over his ears, did not make any statements in court other than to respond “Yes, sir” when U.S. District Judge John Lee asked him, “Do you agree that those factual statements are true?”

Welsh argued that Jones should be taken into custody until his sentencing, but Lee said the “progress” Jones has made in his twice-a-week counseling sessions was too important to interrupt, and noted that he has not missed a single court date and has complied with all terms of his pre-trial release.

“It seems as though you’re making good progress,” Lee said. “I want to encourage you to keep making that progress.”

David Gaeger, one of Jones’ attorneys, disclosed that Jones himself was the victim of “repeated sexual trauma” as a child.

Since his arrest, Jones has been working at an Amazon logistics center, he said. Before the hearing, he stood silently with his hands crossed and his right thumb fidgeting.

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 year, 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.”

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

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