Former YouTube star Austin Jones, 26, sentenced to 10 years in prison for urging underage girls to send him sexually explicit videos

The 26-year-old singer pleaded guilty in February to enticing six underage girls to send him explicit videos to 'prove' they were his 'biggest fans'.


                            Former YouTube star Austin Jones, 26, sentenced to 10 years in prison for urging underage girls to send him sexually explicit videos

Former YouTube star Austin Jones has been sentenced to 10 years in prison by Chicago federal court for coercing six underage girls to send him sexually explicit videos to prove that they're his biggest fans. 

The 26-year-old star appeared in court on Friday, after he pleaded guilty to child pornography charges in February.  While prosecutors sought an 11-year prison sentence for Jones on Friday, the defense wanted the minimum available five years.

The former YouTube singer from Bloomington, Illinois had a massive fan following and his music videos, mostly capella covers of popular songs, garnered millions of views on YouTube and he even performed on tours nationwide. Most of his fans were teenage girls.

In 2017, he was arrested on two counts of production of child pornography and in February he admitted to enticing six underage girls to make pornographic videos of themselves On Friday, US. District Judge John Z. Lee sentenced him to 10 years in federal prison. "Production and receipt of child pornography are extraordinarily serious offenses that threaten the safety of our children and communities," Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Neff Welsh said in the government's sentencing memorandum. "Jones' actions took something from his victims and their families that they will never be able to get back."

In a court filing last week, prosecutors said Jones "preyed on their youth, their vulnerabilities and most glaringly, their adoration of him."

A defense filing stated that Jones' life was 'marred with abuse, pain, loss and death' and asserted he suffered sexual abuse as a child. However, in a 27-page plea agreement, Jones admitted that he had online conversations with six 14- and 15-year-old girls between 2010 and 2017 via Facebook and in the chat, he urged the young girls to send him sexually explicit videos of themselves. In addition to giving the girls suggestions for poses and underwear choices, he frequently gave them 'lines' to recite.

Court documents posted online details the allegations against Jones in a report from a Homeland Security Special Agent and quotes a transcript: "Now you need an intro to the video. At the beginning, get super close and say these lines: hey Austin, it's (name) and this butt is (age) years old and then make it clap for 30 seconds. Got it?' 

He even urged his victims to change outfits and stay up late. When the girl told him she had to go to bed, according to the document, he told her to stop "giving up" and to "take this seriously."

The documents go on to detail another alleged exchange between the two which is very disturbing. "In your honest opinion, do you think your butt is good enough to give guys boners?" he asked the girl, to which she responded: "Yes I have given guys boners with it many times." Jones then quipped: "It hasn't given me a boner yet. That's why I'm concerned... I guess try harder!! Add more lines while you bounce if you think that will help."

The victim then allegedly asked: "How about I try no underwear I won't show anything."

"You can try that," he said in response. The documents trace the conversation he had with two of his victims and concludes: "Based on the above information, there is probable cause to believe that Jones knowingly employed, used, persuaded, induced, and enticed minors, namely Victims A and B, to engage in sexually explicit conduct."

 Prosecutors said he admitted to reaching out to 30 other girls online before his arrest on child pornography charges in 2017 . 

Jones had racked up millions of views on YouTube with his covers of pop songs and has more than 500,000 followers across his Twitter, Instagram and YouTube channels.