Singer and YouTube star Austin Jones charged with child porn in Chicago

Nation/World
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CHICAGO – Singer and social media star Austin Jones is facing two counts of producing child pornography for allegedly persuading underage girls to send him videos of themselves performing sexual acts, according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday.

Originally of suburban Bloomingdale, Illinois, the 24-year-old Jones is popular on social media and particularly on YouTube, where he has over 500,000 subscribers. He also has over 228,000 followers on Twitter. His cover versions of popular songs posted to YouTube have millions of views. The criminal complaint states that Jones’ primary audience “appears to be teenage girls.”

According to a graphic criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court, Jones admitted to federal investigators that he used Facebook and iMessage to have sexually explicit chats with girls he knew to be underage, and directed them to send videos of themselves performing sexual acts.

Jones was arrested Monday night at O’Hare Airport and appeared in federal court Tuesday. Federal prosecutors are expected to argue he’s a flight risk at his bond hearing Wednesday.

The child pornography charges stem from exchanges Jones allegedly had with two teenage fans. In one exchange outlined in the complaint, Jones reportedly told a 14-year-old “that she needed to ‘prove’ that she was his biggest fan” by sending explicit videos.

Jones previously came under fire on social media in 2015 after another YouTube star called him out for asking his fans to send him “twerking” videos.

“There were never any nudes – never any physical contact. It never happened,” he said in a video titled “Setting the Record Straight” posted in 2015.

Jones faces a minimum of 15 years in prison for each charge if convicted.

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