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YouTube Star Austin Jones Has Pleaded Guilty To Child Porn Charges

Jones admitted to enticing six underage girls to send him explicit videos to "prove" they were his "biggest fan."

Posted on February 2, 2019, at 3:08 p.m. ET

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YouTube star Austin Jones, 26, pleaded guilty Friday to child porn charges after he persuaded several young female fans to make and send him sexually explicit videos of themselves.

Jones, who became famous for his a cappella cover videos of pop songs, admitted in a plea agreement to enticing six underage girls to send the videos to "prove" they were his "biggest fan."

He faces between five and 20 years in prison and will also obtain psychological counseling and sex offender treatment.

According to the plea agreement, Jones convinced the six girls β€” who were all 14 and 15 years old β€” to send videos of themselves performing sexual acts, showing their anuses, breasts, and genitals, and "dancing in a sexual manner."

He also attempted to persuade many more underage female fans to send him explicit videos and photographs "on approximately 30 other occasions."

In the dancing videos, Jones would encourage the girls to talk about their age "the whole time” and provided specific instructions about how to dance and what to wear.

In some instances, Jones repeated the behavior but told the girls it was for a "modeling" opportunity and that he could make them famous on Instagram. He told one girl she was "so lucky” he kept giving her β€œchances” to send him videos.

Jones was arrested on the child porn charges in June 2017. A judge also barred him from using the internet and social media and ordered he stay in his mother's home as a result.

Rumors of Jones' crimes circulated well before his arrest.

In 2015, several teen girls posted personal accounts on social media claiming that Jones had asked them to make videos twerking for him and that the singer had made them feel uncomfortable.

Jones had been scheduled to perform at the Warped Tour that year, but more than 9,000 people signed a petition calling for his removal due to the allegations. Despite initial pushback from the event's founder, Jones was eventually pulled from the lineup.

Jones responded at the time in a video in which he apologized and said, "I've been in therapy, seeking help to discover why I communicated with my fans in a way that I have come to fully realize was not appropriate." He claimed it never went further than the twerking videos.

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