Austin Jones, 26, who has managed to rack in more than 40 million views for his videos, and his YouTube channel counted more than 500,000 devoted subscribers, has pleaded guilty to one count for producing child pornography.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Austin Jones has acknowledged in his 27-page plea agreement that he had conversations online with six teenage girls, ages 14 and 15, between 2010 to 2017. In the chats, he encouraged his teenage fans to send him sexually explicit videos. In one exchange, Austin allegedly told the minor that a sexually explicit video was a way to prove she was his biggest fan.
Rumours about Austin’s behaviour surfaced long before his 2017 arrest. As his online popularity was blooming, Jones turned the clicks into a real-world opportunity by joining the 2015 Vans Warped Tour. But in spring of that year, an anonymous 15-year-old girl started a petition asking that Austin should be removed from the line-up.
Austin ended up leaving the tour as the petition pulled in 9,076 of the requested 10,000 supporters. In a video Jones posted to his YouTube account in June 2015, the Internet celebrity admitted making mistakes but defended himself against serious charges. His reputation was badly damaged when he posted a video asking his young fans to send him videos of themselves twerking.
In June 2018, Austin had put together a 16-minute-long YouTube video where he apologized further. Though he expressed his regret, he also denied that his requests crossed any sexual lines.
Austin Jones’s YouTube Channel features videos of him performing original songs in addition to covers of Justin Bieber, Twenty One Pilots, and a bunch of others. It seems many of his social media pages have been taken down but his YouTube channel still exists.
Currently, Austin Jones remains free on bail to continue psychiatric counselling before his May 03, 2019 sentencing and faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum of 20 years.