UPDATE! YouTube Star Austin Jones Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography Charge
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UPDATE: YouTube star Austin Jones pleaded guilty to a federal child pornography charge on Friday. According to court documents obtained by E! News, the 26-year-old faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years.
His sentencing is scheduled for May 3, 2019.
A federal judge has ordered YouTube star Austin Jones released on bail, days after he was arrested on child pornography charges, and has barred him from using the Internet and social media while he awaits trial.
The judge announced the decision Thursday at a hearing. Jones, 24, was ordered released from custody on a $100,000 bond and must remain on home confinement during his online ban, prosecutors told E! News. The YouTube star posted bail and is set to be released later in the evening.
Jones looked stone-faced and wore orange jail garb in court, where he sat with his mother, The Chicago Sun-Times reported, adding that his attorney declined comment.
The singer, whose acapella music covers have garnered him a following of more than 500,000 subscribers, was arrested Monday after being stopped by Customs and Border Patrol and Homeland Security Investigations at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago.
He was charged with two counts of production of child pornography. According to a federal criminal complaint, he is accused of coaxing two 14-year-old girls to send him several sexually explicit videos of them dancing while exposing their genitals. It says both teens stated their age to Jones.
While in custody, Jones had given authorities a recorded interview admitting that he had "admitted to having used his Facebook account to have sexually explicit chats with minor females; admitted to requesting and receiving videos from those females, including [both girls], depicting [the girls] displaying their genitals; and admitted viewing those videos for the purpose of sexual pleasure," the complaint states.
If convicted of both counts of producing child pornography, Jones faces a minimum of 30 years in prison.
(This story was originally published Thursday, June 15, 2017 at 2:05 p.m. PST)
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