A Texas man was sentenced to 23 years in federal prison on Wednesday for being involved in a plan to target gay men to violent hate crimes using the popular dating app Grindr. The prosecutor said.
A 22-year-old Dallas man pleaded guilty to hate crimes, kidnappings, carjacks, hate crimes, and a conspiracy to use firearms during and related to violent crimes in June. I did. The Ministry of Justice said in a statement.
Jenkins was the last of four defendants convicted of conspiracy to use Grindr, a social media app primarily used by gay men.
It wasn’t immediately clear if Jenkins had a lawyer.
“The defendant targeted innocent victims of violent crimes simply because they believed they were homosexual,” Kristen Clark, deputy prosecutor of the Civil Rights Department of the Justice Department, said in a statement. Said in. She added that the statement “emphasizes the Department of Justice’s commitment to prosecution of prejudiced crimes, including crimes against the LGBTQI community.”
According to the Justice Department, the plan began in December 2017 when Jenkins and his conspirators created a profile on the grinder to lure men into places to rob them.
According to the Justice Department, in one incident earlier that month, after the man arrived, members of the plot shot him down and forced him to drive to an ATM to withdraw cash from his account.
In another case of the month, according to prosecutors, Jenkins said he and others “invited multiple victims” to the housing complex, pointed their pistols, robbed them of their belongings, and assaulted them. He admitted that he had injured one of them.
According to the Justice Department, Jenkins told investigators that members of his group used gay slurs to abuse victims and one member attempted to sexually assault one of the victims. rice field.
The prosecution said Jenkins also admitted to participating in at least one victim’s carjacking.
Jenkins’ conspirators were Michael Atkinson, Pablo Seniceros Deleon, and Darryl Henry, all in their twenties. The three men were found guilty in June and their sentence ranged from 11 to 22 years.
“Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, bigots are often lurking online,” Chad Meacham, deputy federal prosecutor for the Northern District of Texas, said in a statement. “Dating app users like Grindr should be vigilant.”
Grindr is one of several dating apps that has become popular among LGBTQ users and has helped redefine the way they meet. Released in 2009, Grindr is a location-based app that informs millions of users around the world how far they are from each other.
In the safety guidelines, the company states that if someone wants to meet another user of the app, “first meet in a public place, in a safe place like an LGBTQ + friendly cafe, and be careful about your belongings.” I am proposing.
The company did not immediately respond to comments on Thursday’s incident.