Austin— A Texas man was sentenced to 23 years in federal prison last Wednesday for his connection to a scheme that used the popular dating app Grindr to target gay men with violent hate crimes, prosecutors said.
The man, Daniel Jenkins, 22, of Dallas, pleaded guilty in June to one count of conspiracy to commit hate crimes, kidnapping, carjacking, one count of hate crime and one count of using a gun. fire during and in connection with a crime of violence, the Justice Department said in a statement.
Jenkins was the last of the four defendants to be convicted in the conspiracy used by Grindr, a social media app that is used primarily by gay men.
“This defendant targeted innocent victims for violent crimes simply because he believed they were homosexual,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke, of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said in the statement. He added that the ruling “underscores the Justice Department’s commitment to aggressively prosecute hate crimes, including crimes against people in the LGBT community.”
The plan began in December 2017 when Jenkins and a conspirator created profiles on Grindr to lure the men to places where they would be robbed, the Justice Department said.
In an incident earlier that month after the men’s arrival, members of the conspiracy held them at gunpoint and forced them to drive to an ATM to withdraw cash from their accounts, according to the Justice Department.
In another incident that month, Mr. Jenkins admitted, according to prosecutors, that he and others “lured multiple victims” to an apartment complex, pointed a gun at them, stole their belongings, and assaulted them, wounding one of them. them.
Jenkins told investigators that members of his group used homosexual slurs and taunted the victims and that a member attempted to sexually assault one of the victims, the Justice Department said.