YouTube removed Jones’ channel back in February after his guilty plea. Jones’ career as a musician began in 2007, and he rose to fame on YouTube with his a capella covers of popular songs. In 2015, reports surfaced that he had contacted underage girls to send him videos. Jones admitted to the accusations in a video on his channel, saying that he was embarrassed, but denied that he solicited explicit videos from fans.
However, Jones was later arrested in 2017 for soliciting explicit videos from two underage girls. (Content warning: the federal complaint contains explicit content that some might find disturbing), and he admitted to using Facebook and iMessage to chat with teenage girls, encouraging them to send him pornographic videos. Jones pled guilty to the charges. While YouTube demonetized his account, it didn’t initially remove his account following his guilty plea, saying that the channel itself didn’t violate its terms of service. However, it quickly changed its mind and took down the channel.
Now, Jones will spend up to a decade in prison. Homeland Security Special Agent-in-Charge James Gibbons said in a release that “today’s sentencing of Austin Jones represents a major step towards justice for the young victims whom he manipulated and exploited.”