26 year old YouTube musician Austin Jones has pled guilty to asking six underage female fans to send him sexually explicit videos.
Austin Jones is a singer and YouTuber who gained a large following from his popular acappela videos. Austin’s fan base is largely young girls and pretty quickly after his rise to fame, reports of his questionable interactions with them began surfacing online. A lot of young fans started claiming Austin was asking them for twerking videos in private messages… even going so far as to instructing them how to do it.
One fan, Aurora Skies even detailed her experience in a YouTube video. After these allegations came out, a petition started to have Austin taken off the Van’s Warped Tour that year showing screen shots from fans proving that he was using his fame to pressure these underage girls into making him happy him by sending him videos of them twerking.
Following these leaked conversations, Austin made an apology video, but unfortunately, years later, it came to light that some of these interactions were much more explicit in nature. In June 2017, Austin was charged in Chicago for two counts of child pornography, where he convinced some of his fans to go further with these videos, including removing clothing and performing sexual acts.
A judge barred him from using the internet and social media and ordered he stay in his mother’s home as a result. But now on Feb 2, it has been revealed that Austin has now pled guilty to six accounts of child pornography, and attempted to persuade more underage female fans to send him explicit videos and photographs “on approximately 30 other occasions.” In these videos, Jones would encourage the girls to repeatedly talk about their age throughout the video and provided specific instructions about how to dance and what to wear.
He told the girls it was for a “modeling” opportunity and that he could make them Instagram famous. Austin’s lawyers said he has sought psychiatric counseling, where he is coming to terms with traumatic events in his own life, including sexual abuse he suffered from a close relative. He faces a 5-20 years in prison and will also obtain psychological counseling and sex offender treatment. His sentencing is set for May 3.
Many believe convictions like this are crucial in getting this kind of behavior from people in power to stop. The #Metoo movement has swept across the entertainment industry, shining a light on people wielding their power to manipulate others into performing sexual acts, and docuseries like Surviving R Kelly hope to expose these acts, give a voice to the victims, and holding predators accountable for their actions.
In the case of Austin Jones, many of his victims finally feel a sense of justice.
What do you think about this situation? Do you think it will help raise awareness about this issue? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter at @WhatsTrending.