YouTube star Austin Jones was arrested on Monday, June 12, after allegedly requesting underage females to send sexually explicit videos, according to the Chicago Tribune. Prosecutors also told the newspaper that he was charged Tuesday in federal court with two counts of production of child pornography. The 24-year-old internet star faces a minimum of 15 years per count in prison if convicted.
Jones will appear in court for a detention hearing on Wednesday, June 14. He’ll remain in federal custody until his hearing, the Chicago Sun-Times reports, because prosecutors argue Jones is a “risk to the community and there’s a danger he’ll flee.”
The singer, who has more than 500,000 subscribers on YouTube, has been covering pop stars such as Justin Bieber, Twenty One Pilots and Fall Out Boy since launching his page in 2007. He’s garnered almost 25 million views.
In 2015, Jones issued an apology and admitted he was seeking professional help in therapy after he allegedly lied about his age while soliciting videos of underage girls twerking. He was also kicked off the Warped Tour at the time.
“I’ve been in therapy, seeking help to discover why I communicated with my fans in a way that I have come to fully realize was not appropriate,” he wrote in a statement on Facebook at the time. “I’m embarrassed. I’d have conversations online with girls that would involve me asking them to create a video of themselves twerking. Sometimes I’d make videos of myself doing some twerk moves in return. Here’s the truth: I NEVER asked them to do anything more than send a twerking video. Nothing EVER went beyond that.”
Us Weekly has reached out to Jones’ rep for comment.
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