Popular YouTube Musician Arrested for Producing Child Pornography

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Last night, YouTube star Austin Jones was arrested and charged with two counts of production of child pornography. The 24-year-old allegedly pressured two 14-year-old girls to send him sexually explicit videos in August 2016 and May 2017. E! News saw court documents that say the musician asked one of the victims to “prove” she was his “biggest fan” by doing so. Austin was stopped by Customs and Border Patrol and Homeland Security Investigations at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago and taken into custody, where he allegedly admitted to the charges.

The singer has been in federal custody since his arrest and will remain there until his detention hearing later today because, according to prosecutors, he is a “risk to the community and there’s a danger he’ll flee.”

If Austin is convicted of the charged, he faces a minimum of 30 years in prison — each charge comes with a minimum 15-year sentence.

This isn’t the first time AJ has gotten in trouble for behaving inappropriately with fans online. He released a statement in 2015 apologizing for lying about his age in order to get fans to send him twerking videos. Here’s a portion of what he wrote on Facebook just over two years ago:

“I’m embarrassed. 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. EVER. I recognize now how odd all of this sounds. I recognize how much I’ve embarrassed myself, my family and my fans. That is the reason I am coming forward today. I didn’t want to wait another day to apologize. To anyone that I have made feel uncomfortable or awkward, I am deeply sorry for the hurt and shame I may have caused you. I NEVER intended to mistreat or humiliate anyone. I also offer a heartfelt and sincere apology to my family, friends and fans whom I have let down because of my actions.”

Austin also said he was “in therapy, seeking help to discover why [he] communicated with [his] fans in a way that [he came] to fully realize was not appropriate.”

E! News reached out to the YouTuber’s reps for comment, but they have not yet responded.

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