Online musician from Bloomingdale pleads guilty to child porn

Daily Herald report
Updated 2/1/2019 5:21 PM

A 26-year-old Bloomingdale man, who once had a popular YouTube channel of him singing cover versions of hit songs, has agreed to plead guilty to receiving child pornography.

Federal prosecutors announced the plea deal with Austin Jones on Friday. Jones was arrested in 2017 after authorities said he coerced several teenage girls to take nude videos of themselves and send them to him in 2016 and 2017.

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The plea agreement outlines numerous contacts Jones had with 14- and 15-year-old girls who filmed themselves and talked about their actual ages in the videos at Jones' direction. Prosecutors outlined seven instances when girls filmed themselves at Jones' direction and noted he was in contact with about 30 other underage girls.

In one instance described by prosecutors, a 14-year-old girl told Jones she "had to fight the urge to cut last night because I promised you I wouldn't do it anymore." Prosecutors said Jones acknowledged he knew the girl was self-harming when he directed her to make videos for him.

Jones faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced May 9. He will receive at least five years in prison and is required to serve at least 85 percent of the sentence, according to federal sentencing guidelines. Prosecutors are recommending a maximum sentence, according to the plea deal.

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