YouTube Star Hears Fate on 'Extraordinarily Serious Offenses'

Austin Jones, 26, gets 10 years in prison on child pornography charges
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2019 7:30 AM CDT

A YouTube star who pleaded guilty to child pornography charges has found out what price he'll pay for it. BuzzFeed reports Austin Jones, 26, was sentenced Friday to 10 years behind bars in federal prison after he admitted to convincing six young teens to send him sexually explicit videos of themselves. Per a Justice Department release, which identifies Jones as "a musician from a west suburb of Chicago," the singer confessed in his plea agreement that, in 2016 and 2017, he engaged in online chats with the six teen girls and got them to create pornographic videos to send his way, telling some of his victims that doing so would "prove" they were his biggest fans. Jones also admitted he'd tried to get other minor girls to send similarly X-rated pics and videos on about 30 other occasions.

Assistant US Attorney Katherine Neff Welsh called the "production and receipt of child pornography ... extraordinarily serious offenses," adding that "Jones' actions took something from his victims and their families that they will never be able to get back." Fox News reports that Jones' sentence wasn't far off from the 11 years in prison that prosecutors had sought. The defense team had hoped for the five-year minimum, noting in a court filing that Jones' life had been "marred with abuse, pain, loss, and death." The Chicago Tribune reports that during his sentencing hearing, his lawyers contended that abuse came at the hands of his now-deceased father, an "evil, evil person" who allegedly molested Jones for years. (More Austin Jones stories.)

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