Austin Jones: YouTube star arrested on child pornography charges

Jones has reportedly admitted to using Facebook to hold sexually explicit conversations with girls under the age of 16

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The Independent Culture

A singer with hundreds of thousands of online followers is facing child pornography charges after he allegedly instructed two young female fans to send sexually explicit videos of themselves.

Austin Jones appeared in a Chicago federal court on 13 June after being arrested and charged on two counts of producing child pornography, the Hollywood Reporter reports.

The 24-year-old from Bloomingdale, Illinois is accused of telling two young fans, said to be around 14-years-old, to send him sexually explicit photos and videos of themselves.

Jones' music videos of both original songs and covers by famous artists have racked up millions of YouTube views.

He has more than half a million subscribers and has covered songs by My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, Justin Bieber and Rihanna.

His cover of MCR's 'Welcome to the Black Parade' has received over five million views.

In the police affidavit, it states that Jones waived his Miranda rights and admitted to US homeland security that he used his Facebook account to hold sexually explicit conversations with girls under the age of 16. 

He admitted that he directed the girls on what to do and wear in the videos while knowing their ages - something which he asked them to state out loud in the videos. 

Court documents show that in one of the videos he told one girl that she "needed to prove" that she was his "biggest fan" by sending him videos of herself and that she was "so lucky" to have his attention.

The documents say his main audience "appears to be teenage girls".

Each of the charges Jones faces carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

A bond hearing was set for 14 June - prosecutors say they will oppose his release.