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YouTube Star Austin Jones Has Been Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison For Child Porn

Jones pleaded guilty in February to enticing six underage girls to send him explicit videos to “prove” they were his “biggest fan.”

Posted on May 3, 2019, at 8:59 p.m. ET

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YouTube star Austin Jones was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison Friday for persuading underage girls to send him sexually explicit videos of themselves.

Jones, 26, of Bloomingdale, Illinois, pleaded guilty in February to one count of receipt of child pornography. He admitted in a plea agreement that in 2016 and 2017, he enticed six girls as young as 14 to produce and send the videos to "prove" they were his "biggest fan."

“Production and receipt of child pornography are extraordinarily serious offenses that threaten the safety of our children and communities,” Assistant US Attorney Katherine Neff Welsh said in a sentencing memo. “Jones’ actions took something from his victims and their families that they will never be able to get back.”

Jones, who became famous for his a cappella covers of pop songs, was arrested on child porn charges in 2017, but rumors of his inappropriate behavior with fans circulated years before.

In 2015, several young women began publishing personal accounts claiming that Jones had asked them to make videos twerking for him and that the singer had made them feel uncomfortable.

The allegations caused him to be pulled from the lineup at the Warped Tour that year after more than 9,000 people signed a petition calling for his removal.

In his plea agreement, Jones admitted to attempting to persuade other underage fans "on approximately 30 other occasions" to send him sexually explicit photos and videos. According to prosecutors, he also told some of his victims that the videos were part of a modeling opportunity and said he could help them gain followers on social media.

“Today’s sentencing of Austin Jones represents a major step towards justice for the young victims whom he manipulated and exploited,” Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent-in-Charge James Gibbons said in a statement.

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