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Warning: This article contains explicit content which may be harmful to some readers.
The plea comes after the 26-year-old was arrested at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport in June 2017. He was initially charged with two counts of production of child pornography.
He won’t be sentenced until May but faces anywhere from five to 20 years behind bars.
According to the plea agreement obtained by BuzzFeed, Jones convinced half a dozen 14- and 15-year-old girls to send him sexual videos and expose their bodies including their breasts, anus, and genitals. He also asked them to “dance in a sexual manner.”
In the videos, Jones encouraged the teens to bring up their age “the whole time,” BuzzFeed reported. He also provided specific things for them to do and wear.
In some of Jones’ communication, he told the girls the videos would be used to further a modeling career and he was their ticket to becoming Instagram famous.
In another conversation, he calls one teen, “so lucky, ” he gave her more than one more chance to send videos.
Authorities believe he tried to solicit pictures and videos from more than 30 girls before his actual arrest.
Jones is currently residing at his mother’s house until sentencing and has been barred from using the internet or social media by a judge.
Jones rose to fame on YouTube for his pop and acapella cover songs. In 2015 his popularity landed him a spot on the Warped Tour.
But that year several teen girls took to social media with claims that the Jones had asked them to make twerking videos of themselves for him. They said it made them uncomfortable.
The allegation led to Jones being pulled from the event and issuing an apology for communicating “with my fans in a way that I have come to fully realize was not appropriate.”
His YouTube channel, which has 534,357 subscribers, is still up as of Sunday. Request for comment from YouTube was not returned by press time.
If you are a victim of sexual assault or want more information on sexual assault, contact the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
Elizabeth VanMetre is a reporter based in Wyoming. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School, and her work has appeared on ETOnline, the New York Daily News, Yahoo Travel, and more. She hosts a local morning show in Wyoming.