YouTube star Austin Jones arrested on child pornography charges
YouTube star Austin Jones, known for his acapella music covers, has been arrested on two charges of production of child pornography.
The Internet singing sensation, who boasts his 500,000 subscribers and millions of views, is in federal custody, according to the Chicago Sun Times.
Jones, 24, allegedly communicated with two 14-year-old girls and pressured them to send him sexually explicit videos, sometimes referring to them as "auditions." According to the Sun Times, Jones allegedly acknowledged the two girls ages and told one girl to "prove" that she was his "biggest fan."
Jones' YouTube channel is described as "earnest, emo-influenced melodic pop music," and has a strong teenage fan base.
The singer was stopped by Customs and Border Patrol and Homeland Security Investigations and arrested Monday at O'Hare Airport after returning from an international tour. If convicted, Jones could face a minimum of 15 years in prison.
About to go on stage, but hi I miss you pic.twitter.com/O0zpaQF9KX— Austin Jones (@iAmAustinJones) June 11, 2017
This isn't the first time the Illinois star has been caught up in controversy for taking advantage of his impressionable following.
In 2015, Jones recorded a video apology to address allegations that he lied about his age to obtain "twerking" videos from underage fans.
"I'm embarrassed," Jones shared on multiple social media platforms. "I'd have conversations online with girls that would involve me asking them to create a video of themselves twerking. Sometimes I'd make videos of myself doing some twerk moves in return. Here's the truth: I NEVER asked them to do anything more than send a twerking video. Nothing EVER went beyond that."
Jones' bond hearing is set for today. Jones reportedly didn't have his own lawyer and will enter a plea.