Texas Man Sentenced After Using Dating App To Target Gay Men – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Dallas man has been sentenced to more than 23 years in federal prison for committing violent crimes against gay users of the dating app Grindr, Acting U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham and Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke announced Thursday .
The US attorney’s office said 22-year-old Daniel Jenkins is the last of four defendants to be convicted in the case.
According to court documents, Jenkins admitted to conspiring to target nine Dallas-area men for violent crimes, including kidnappings, carjackings and hate crimes, based on his perception of the victims’ sexual orientation.
Jenkins was sentenced to a 280-month federal prison sentence for his involvement in the scheme.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that from December 2017, conspiracy members were using Grindr, a social media dating platform used primarily by gay men, to lure men into an apartment complex in Dallas.
When the men arrived, the conspirators held the men at gunpoint and forced them to go to local ATMs to withdraw money from their accounts, the US attorney’s office said.
“This defendant singled out the victims based on their perceived sexual orientation and then violently assaulted them,” said acting US Attorney Chad Meacham for the North Texas District. “The Department of Justice will not tolerate these kinds of heinous and hateful attacks. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, fanatics are often in hiding online. We urge users of dating apps like Grindr to be vigilant.”
“This defendant has targeted innocent victims for violent crimes simply because he believed them to be gay,” said Deputy Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. âThis sentence affirms that bias-motivated crimes are contrary to our national values ââand underscores the Department of Justice’s commitment to aggressively prosecute bias-motivated crimes, including crimes against the LGBTQI community. to seek justice for victims of bias-motivated crimes, wherever they occur. “
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, while pleading guilty on June 2, Jenkins admitted to joining the plot to target gay men for violent crimes.
Jenkins and a co-conspirator created user profiles on Grindr and used the profiles to lure men they perceived to be gay into a place to steal them, the U.S. prosecutor’s office said.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Jenkins also admitted that on December 11, 2017, he and others lured several victims into the apartment complex, pointed a handgun at them, took their personal property and assaulted them, injuring at least one victim.
The U.S. prosecutor’s office said Jenkins admitted he knew conspiracy members used homosexual slurs and taunted victims, and that at least one conspirator attempted to sexually assault a victim.
Jenkins also admitted to participating in the hijacking of at least one victim.
Jenkins was the last of four defendants to plead guilty in this case.
Jenkins pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit hate crimes, kidnapping and carjacking; one count of hate crime; and one count of use of a firearm during and in connection with a crime of violence.
Under the plea agreement, Jenkins faced a maximum sentence of 26 years in prison.
His accomplices, Michael Atkinson, Pablo Ceniceros-Deleon and Daryl Henry, had already pleaded guilty. Atkinson was sentenced to over 11 years in prison, Ceniceros-Deleon was sentenced to 22 years in prison and Henry to 20 years in prison.