• Former YouTube star Austin Jones gets 10-year prison sentence

    By: Bob D'Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    CHICAGO - Austin Jones, a former YouTube star who sang and toured nationally, was sentenced to 10 years in prison Friday after he admitted to pressuring underage online fans to send him sexually explicit videos, WBBM reported.

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    Jones, 26, of Bloomingdale, Illinois, faced a maximum sentence of 20 years, the television station reported. On Feb. 1, he pleaded guilty to one count of receipt of child pornography. Jones was arrested in 2017 and charged with two counts of production of child pornography, CNN reported.

    He was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

    According to the plea agreement, Jones admitted to chatting with six underage girls on Facebook in 2016 and 2017. Prosecutors said Jones persuaded the girls -- some as young as 14 -- to make pornographic videos of themselves as a way to “prove” they were his biggest fans, according to the plea agreement.

    "Production and receipt of child pornography are extraordinarily serious offenses that threaten the safety of our children and communities," Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Neff Welsh said in the government's sentencing memorandum. "Jones' actions took something from his victims and their families that they will never be able to get back."

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