YouTube Star Austin Jones Allegedly Urged 14-Year-Old Fans to Send Him Sexual Videos
New documents reveal the lengths YouTube singer Austin Jones allegedly went to in coaxing underage female fans to send him sexual videos
Newly released federal documents, obtained by PEOPLE, reveal the lengths YouTube singer Austin Jones allegedly went to in coaxing underage female fans to send him sexual videos of themselves.
Jones, 24, allegedly solicited two 14-year-old fans — one last August and one in May — instructing them on what to wear, what to say and what to do in the videos deemed child pornography, the court documents state.
He was arrested by federal authorities at Chicago’s O’Hare airport on Monday, and he is charged with two counts of producing child pornography.
The counts against him come approximately two years after he faced controversy online for allegedly similar behavior with female fans, which he dismissed at the time (and was not charged).
Jones’ attorney, Gerardo S. Gutierrez, tells PEOPLE he plans to plead not guilty.
“He’s a scared young man. He’s facing 15 [years in prison], mandatory minimum,” Gutierrez says.
Jones — who has more than 500,000 YouTube subscribers and whose videos have been seen millions of times — remains in custody and will appear for a bond hearing on Thursday, according to Gutierrez.
“If and when he does get released, he will be back home with his family and his movements will be restricted,” Guteirrez says.
The criminal complaint, filed Tuesday in Illinois federal court, alleges Jones “used Facebook and Apple’s iMessage service to request and receive videos depicting the genitalia of minor females, knowing that they were only 14 or 15 years old.”
The complaint states that while in custody, Jones allegedly waived his rights and cooperated with investigators during questioning, admitting that he had sexually explicit discussions with underage girls online and told them to send sexual videos for his pleasure.
The complaint details his 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, 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, the complaint states.
Jones allegedly knew the age of the victims and repeatedly discussed it with both of them in the course of instructing them on what to send him, according to the documents.
The complaint shows that with Victim A, Jones allegedly described their interaction as an “opportunity” and a “try out” and referred to giving her videos a “score.”
“Talk about your age the whole time,” he told her at one point, the complaint claims. “Got it?”
“In your honest opinion, do you think your butt is good enough to give guys boners?” he allegedly asked the same victim before urging her to “try harder!!!”
In another video, the victim repeats to Jones, “I’m only 14 years old…yeah only 14 years old.”
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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.
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—.”
During their two-day conversation, Victim B sent Jones approximately 25 videos of her dancing, the complaint states. In approximately eight of them, she is exposing herself from the waist-down.
“Bounce again and smile at the camera while you bounce. And while you bounce, say ‘I’m only 14’ three times throughout the video,” Jones allegedly instructed the girl, who at times was hesitant.
“If you really are my biggest fan, you would do it!”
A History of Accusations
According to the complaint, in May, Facebook deactivated Jones’ account because of the alleged child pornography.
A few weeks later, Jones made a YouTube video titled “I NEED YOUR HELP” addressing his account’s deactivation but blaming it on copyright issues. He directed fans to a new Facebook account he created.
Jones previously faced claims about his behavior with female fans, which mirror some of the allegations against him in the complaint.
“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.”