Who Is Austin Jones? New Details On Youtuber's 10-Year Sentence For Child Porn

Photo: Instagram
Who Is Austin Jones? New Details On Youtuber's 10-Year Sentence For Child Porn

Singer and YouTuber Austin Jones is in a whole lot of trouble. The 26-year-old from Bloomingdale, Illinois was active on YouTube and social media from 2007 to 2017, prior to his arrest for a number of sexual offenses. In 2019 he was charged with the production of child pornography. Over the years, Jones accumulated around 540,000 subscribers and more than 20 million views of his YouTube videos. However, due to the nature of his arrest for sexual misconduct and possession of and production of child pornography, he's become more well known for that rather than his music. In February his YouTube channel was terminated. On May 3rd, he was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison. Who is Austin Jones?

1. "His biggest fan"

Austin Jones was arrested in 2017, though rumors of sexual misconduct dogged him for years. He was popular for singing a cappella covers of pop songs. In 2015, several of his young female fans started publishing their accounts of how Jones asked them to make videos twerking for him and how uncomfortable that made them feel. Those allegations led to him being dropped from the Warped Tour. As part of his plea agreement, Jones admitted that in 2016 and 2017, he enticed girls as young as 14 to send him videos to "prove" they were his "biggest fan."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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2. "A Modeling Opportunity"

In his plea agreement, Jones admitted that on about 30 different occasions he tried to get underage fans to send him sexually explicit photos and videos. He told those young girls that the videos were a modeling opportunity and that he could help them get more followers on social media. Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Neff Walsh said: “Production and receipt of child pornography are extraordinarily serious offenses that threaten the safety of our children and communities. Jones’ actions took something from his victims and their families that they will never be able to get back.”

3. The videos

Authorities found dozens of sexually explicit online chats with underage girls. Some of them lasted for hours. In the videos he coaxed them to take off their clothes and dance suggestively. He sometimes asked them to talk about how young they were as they danced while he dangled modeling opportunities and Instagram stardom to entice them to do his bidding.

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4. He is on house arrest ... for now

Jones was allowed to remain at home on house arrest until he reports to prison on June 28th. U.S. District Judge John Lee decided not to take Jones into custody immediately after his therapist of the past two years testified that he had not expressed any desire to commit suicide for at least the last six months. Judge Lee imposed the 10-year sentence, which is double the mandatory minimum sought by Jones' attorneys after the three-hour long, emotionally exhausting hearing. Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent-in-Charge James Gibbons said in a statement: “Today’s sentencing of Austin Jones represents a major step towards justice for the young victims whom he manipulated and exploited."

5. He was molested

During the hearing, Jones' attorneys revealed that his now-deceased father molested him for years as a child and that his action can only be understood in the context of the trauma he suffered. Judge Lee wasn't having any of that, however. In his remarks, Lee said that the pain Jones had gone through should have given him a deeper understanding of the impact of his actions. Jones' actions will have a lasting effect on his victims psyches even though he never actually touched them. Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Neff Welsh said: "He wasn't physically with them, but he came into their bedroom windows at night just the same."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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6. He addressed his victims

At the end of the trial, Austin Jones asked to speak on his own behalf. He requested the judge's permission to address his victims directly. Welsh asked the two young women in attendance if that was alright, but they preferred that Jones not face them. Jones said: "To the victims of my actions, I want to say I'm so deeply sorry. All you ever did was support me, and I exploited that support ... I was so selfish.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based freelance writer covering entertainment, pop culture, beauty, fashion, fitness, technology, and the intersection of technology, business, and philanthropy. She is deeply devoted to her chocolate Labrador and an avid long distance runner. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.