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Illinois YouTube Star Charged with Child Pornography

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Two weeks ago on the Steve Shannon Show, we asked our youngest listeners what they wanted to be when they grew up. Many of them wanted to be artists, biologists, professional basketball players and teachers.

Not only were we surprised, we were pleased to hear those responses because according to a new survey, that was released just a couple of weeks ago, 75% of kids want to be vloggers and YouTube stars when they grow up.

Forget about being a doctor or lawyer, kids today want to be like Austin Jones. If you have a teen daughter there’s a very good chance that you’ve heard of him- he’s a baby-faced, YouTube sensation whose music videos, mostly covers of today’s most popular hits, have been viewed millions of times- mostly by adoring teen fans.

Online interactions with some of those teen fans have now landed Jones in some pretty hot water.

According to the Chicago Sun Times, Jones, 24 (I know, he barely looks like he’s 16) was messaging with a 14-year-old girl on Facebook who said she was his biggest fan; that’s when he asked her to “prove it.” Jones, admits that he’s only asked girls to send videos of them twerking, but according to a criminal complaint, he’s taking full advantage of his stardom to “pressure young girls to expose themselves.”

Jones, who lives in Bloomingdale, is now in federal custody and faces two counts of production of child pornography.

More details about his interactions with underage fans have been released, but they may be disturbing to some readers. The Chicago Sun Times says one victim sent Jones 15 videos, she exposed herself in 10; another victim sent him 25 videos, including eight that exposed her genitals.

After admitting to authorities that he used the videos for “sexual pleasure” a judge will decide today (Wednesday) if Jones will remain in federal custody.

Next: What Would We Do Without Illinois' Best Invention?

Catch Mandy James on “The Steve Shannon Show with Mandy James” on 97 ZOK from 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.


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