YouTube Star Pleads Guilty to Coercing Underage Female Fans to Send Sexually Explicit Videos
Austin Jones will be sentenced May 3
Former YouTube star and singer Austin Jones pleaded guilty Friday to coaxing six underage female fans to send him sexually explicit videos of themselves, PEOPLE confirms.
Jones, 26, pleaded guilty to one count of receipt of child pornography and faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Illinois.
Jones, who had more than 500,000 YouTube subscribers and whose videos have been seen millions of times, is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court on May 3.
Jones’ attorney did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment.
In a plea agreement, Jones admitted he had online conversations with six underage girls on Facebook between 2016 and 2017. During the exchanges, he coerced the girls into making pornographic videos of themselves and sending them to him.
Jones told some of the girls they would have to “prove” how big of a fan they were by sending him the explicit videos. He also discussed with some of his other victims that he could help get them followers on Instagram, prosecutors said.
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Jones also admitted to authorities that on approximately 30 different occasions he attempted to coerce minors on Facebook into providing him with sexually explicit videos and photographs.
A criminal complaint filed in 2017 detailed Jones’ alleged interactions with two victims, in 2016 and 2017, when they were 14.
Jones was in contact with the first victim, identified as Victim A, in May 2017, and in contact with the second victim, identified as Victim B, in August 2016, the complaint states. Both victims sent him multiple sexually explicit videos.
In the videos, which were sent through Facebook messenger, Jones allegedly told the victims to twerk — a kind of dancing — and expose their butts and repeat how old they were, in the course of which they also showed their genitals.
“You need an intro to the video,” he allegedly told Victim A. “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?”
The court documents show she appeared to follow this request.
“Hey Austin, my name is [Victim A’s first name] and my butt is 14 years old,” she began one video, allegedly sent to Jones, before she danced against a wall, according to the complaint.
In August 2016, Jones and another 14-year-old girl, Victim B, communicated through Facebook chat for two days, the complaint alleges. The pair talked about how young she was and how much she liked his music.
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According to the documents, Jones allegedly repeatedly told her that she was “so lucky” to have his attention and would have to “prove” how big of a fan she was. After one video, he allegedly responded, “In the next one, you have to prove you’re my biggest fan. I know you can do it!”
“How amazing that would be for you!! To have your favorite singer spanking your a–!” he allegedly wrote to her at one point. “If you’re lucky, maybe I’d let you suck my d—.”
“It’s not something that I’m proud of, it’s not something that I think is right, and I shouldn’t have done it,” he said in the video, which was titled “Setting The Record Straight.”