Austin Jones, a 24-year-old Chicago singer who has built up a solid internet fan base with over 500,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel, 228,000 Twitter followers and millions of teen girls, was arrested on the night of Monday, June 12 on charges of child pornography. The case was filed against him by two female fans who claim to have been solicited by Jones for explicit videos on social media. A Federal complaint was released regarding his case the following day.

Soliciting naked videos

Austin Jones was accosted by agents from both Customs and Border Patrol and Homeland Security Investigations at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, just as he was returning home from an international tour.

A couple of his fans have come forward to the authorities with shocking stories of their online encounters with the internet star when they were 14 years old. The two complainants, identified only as "Victim A" and "Victim B" due to being under 18 years of age, claim that Jones had instructed them on Facebook chat to “prove” their boasts of being his “biggest” fans by taking sexually explicit videos of themselves to be sent to him online.

The Chicago suburbanite was taken into federal custody owing to the severity of the charges against him. In a recorded interview, Jones admitted to doing as the complainants alleged. When brought before US District Court Magistrate Judge Michael Mason he indicated that he understood that he is being charged with child pornography.

Jones had no lawyer present then. He is up for a bond hearing on Wednesday, until which he will remain in federal custody due to being considered a community danger with a risk of trying to escape according to prosecutors.

Heavy penalty

The matter of Austin Jones appears to join with other incidents involving YouTube stars this year.

His case, however, is a major negative, with testimony from his two victims relating how the online singer had treated his requests to them of naked videos – which happened in August 2017 and last May – as mundane “tryouts.” Now, however, Jones is looking at some serious comeuppance for his shenanigans, with a minimum 15 to maximum 30 years behind bars if proven guilty.

Jones has already found himself in hot water with the public before. Two years ago there was a petition to remove the online star from the list of featured performers in a concert tour due to having at the time made requests of his young fans again on social media to send him videos of themselves twerking. The YouTube pop star became an online sensation both for his original songs and covers of other mainstream music artists like Justin Bieber.