YouTube Star Austin Jones Charged Over Child Pornography
He is accused of soliciting images from two 14-year-old female fans.
24-year-old YouTube star Austin Jones has been arrested and charged in the US on two counts of producing child pornography.
The popular vlogger, who has around 550,000 YouTube subscribers and is known for his acapella covers of popular songs, was arrested as he arrived at Chicago O'Hare International Airport at the beginning of the week.
After appearing in court on Tuesday, he was charged after allegedly contacting two separate 14-year-old female fans via social media and soliciting them into sending him explicit imagery - in several cases naked videos of their genitals. In court documents posted online, the proescution allege that he asked the girls to 'prove' they are his 'biggest fan' and suggested that providing videos of themselves 'dancing in a sexually explicit way' as he 'instructed them on what to wear, say, and do in the videos, including performing sexual acts' would be a way to illustrate this.
He reportedly added that if one was 'lucky', she could perform a sex act on him.
The documents also claim that Austin used iMessage and Facebook to contact the young fans - who he is alleged to have known were both underage - adding that Facebook apparently closed his page a month ago after becoming aware of his involvement with minors on the network.
This comes after an incident back in 2015 where Austin was criticised by some members of his fanbase for asking underage girls to send him videos of themselves twerking. He then took to YouTube to apologise, saying: "It's not something that I'm proud of, it's not something that I think is right and I shouldn't have done it.
"Nothing ever went further than twerking videos. There were never any nudes, never any physical contact, it never happened."
In regards to the current case, Austin's lawyer tells The Guardian that his client remains "innocent until proven guilty."