YouTube star Austin Jones pleaded guilty Friday to a charge of child pornography, according to his lawyer.
Jones, who was known for posting acapella covers to popular songs, was accused of messaging girls on Facebook Messenger and iMessage to solicit twerking videos. The 26-year-old, who was 24 at the time, received videos from 14- and 15-year-old girls who exposed their genitals.
If found guilty of the charge, Jones could face up to five years in prison, reported the Chicago Tribune.
In some of the messages, Jones convinced the girls to send him the videos by saying they needed to prove that they were his real fans. Jones accrued a young following after posting covers to songs by Fall Out Boy and Justin Bieber.
Although Jones’ channel remains on YouTube, the video site demonetized his content in 2017, which means he can no longer earn money from his posts.
"We take safety on YouTube and allegations of sexual misconduct very seriously. When we’re made aware of serious allegations or convictions we take action, which may include terminating business relationships or suspending monetization," a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement to NBC News.
A criminal complaint was first filed against Jones in 2017 when he first coerced several girls to send him videos even though he was aware of their age.
In an exchange with another 14-year-old, Jones writes, "Wait ... you're 14?"
The girl responded, "Yea, I'm a youngster."
In that conversation, Jones acknowledged he shouldn't be talking to her due to her age, but kept telling her that she was "so lucky" to garner his attention.
Later, Jones told the girl, "If you're lucky, maybe I'd let you suck my d---." When the girl said she didn't want either of them to get in trouble over the videos she was making, he replied, "I guess you really aren't my biggest fan .....ok then."
According to the complaint, the girl's genitals are exposed in the videos.
Court documents obtained by the Tribune show that Jones acknowledged he had conversations online with six girls, whose ages are either 14 or 15. Jones' lawyer said that his client had been sexually abused by a close relative and he had not properly dealt with his own trauma, the Tribune reported.
On his YouTube page, Jones addressed the allegations by admitting that he did ask the girls for twerking videos but did not request naked pictures or videos.
(Photo: NBC News via YouTube)