CHICAGO (CelebrityAccess) Federal prosecutors are seeking an 11-year prison sentence for former YouTube star Austin Jones, who admitted to having online conversations with six underage girls – ages 14 to 15 – and admitting to reaching out to 30 other girls online before being arrested on child pornography charges at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport in 2017.
Austin’s a capella music videos were viewed by millions in 2015, making the Bloomingdale, Ill., resident a YouTube star. However, he soon sought therapy for asking young teenage girls to send him “twerking” videos.
By 2016, however, the 26-year-old was spending many hours online, chatting with underage girls, coaching them on sexual poses and dance moves among other suggestions, according to pre-sentencing documents.
“I bet you had NO IDEA when you met me that just 1 day later you’d get to show me your (butt) how special do you feel,” Jones wrote in an August 2016 Facebook messenger exchange with a 14-year-old girl who had told the singer she was his “biggest fan,” according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Jones’ public shaming in 2015 led a concert promoter to drop him from a tour. Jones has entered a guilty plea to reduced charges of receiving child pornography and has sentencing scheduled for May 3, according to the paper.
“(Jones) preyed on their youth, their vulnerabilities, and most glaringly, their adoration of him, and he did it over and over again,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Neff Welsh wrote. She noted that Jones did not appear to share the videos with anyone.
One mother, whose daughter sent eight videos to Jones, called the singer “a parent’s worst nightmare.”
“She knows almost everything about him, watches his videos, comments and follows him on social media,” the mother wrote. “Then one day she gets a message from him asking her to prove she is his biggest fan by doing inappropriate things.”
Jones’ attorney said the singer’s supposedly “happy life full of love and support” was, in reality, one “marred with abuse, pain, loss and death,” according to the Sun-Times.