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Austin Jones, YouTube Star, Arrested on Child Porn Charges

Image: Austin Jones, YouTube Star, Arrested on Child Porn Charges
YouTube star Austin Jones has been charged with child pornography. (Screen grab via YouTube)

By    |   Wednesday, 14 Jun 2017 05:41 PM

Austin Jones, a YouTube star, was charged with felony child pornography Tuesday in federal court in Chicago.

The 24-year-old pop star allegedly manipulated two underage fans into sending him sexually explicit videos, the Chicago Tribune reported.

If convicted, Jones faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison for each charge.

Jones, whose YouTube channel has more than 500,000 subscribers, is known for original music and covers of songs by artists such as Justin Bieber and Twenty One Pilots.

The criminal complaint alleged that Jones had online conversations with two 14-year-old girls, encouraging them to do sexually explicit dances, the Tribune reported. He was arrested Monday at Chicago's O'Hare Airport while returning from a concert in Poland.

Jones allegedly asked the victims for the videos to prove they were his biggest fans and repeatedly asked one to acknowledge that she was "only 14," Rolling Stone magazine reported.

The singer first drew fire in 2015 for allegedly soliciting videos from underage girls, Rolling Stone noted. The backlash led Jones to post a lengthy online apology.

"I'm embarrassed. I'd have conversations online with girls that would involve me asking them to create a video of themselves twerking," he wrote at the time in a since-deleted Facebook post, according to Rolling Stone. "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."

A petition on Change.org in 2015 called to have the singer removed from Fans Warped Tour 2015.

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Austin Jones, a YouTube star, was charged with felony child pornography Tuesday in federal court in Chicago.
austin jones, youtube, child, pornography
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Wednesday, 14 Jun 2017 05:41 PM
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