Texas Man Is Sentenced for Using Dating App to Target Gay Men

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U.S.|Texas Man Is Sentenced for Using Dating App to Target Gay Men

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/14/us/daniel-jenkins-gay-men-target-texas.html

The man, Daniel Jenkins, was portion of a radical that utilized the app Grindr to lure cheery men to an flat analyzable successful Dallas to rob and battle them, prosecutors said.

Johnny Diaz

Oct. 14, 2021, 11:39 a.m. ET

A Texas antheral was sentenced to 23 years successful national situation connected Wednesday for his transportation successful a strategy that utilized the fashionable dating app Grindr to people cheery men for convulsive hatred crimes, prosecutors said.

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Credit...Dallas County's Sheriff's Department

The man, Daniel Jenkins, 22, of Dallas, pleaded blameworthy successful June to 1 number of conspiracy to perpetrate hatred crimes, kidnapping, carjacking, 1 hatred transgression number and 1 number of utilizing a firearm during and successful narration to a transgression of violence, the Department of Justice said successful a statement.

Mr. Jenkins was the past of 4 defendants to beryllium sentenced successful the conspiracy that utilized Grindr, a societal media app that is utilized chiefly by cheery men.

It was not instantly wide if Mr. Jenkins had a lawyer.

“This suspect targeted guiltless victims for convulsive crimes simply due to the fact that helium believed they were gay,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said successful the statement. She added that the condemnation “underscores the Justice Department’s committedness to aggressively prosecuting bias-motivated crimes, including crimes against the L.G.B.T.Q.I. community.”

The strategy began successful December 2017 erstwhile Mr. Jenkins and a co-conspirator created profiles connected Grindr to lure men to locations wherever they would rob them, the Department of Justice said.

In 1 incidental aboriginal that month, aft the men arrived, the members of the conspiracy held the men astatine gunpoint and forced them to thrust to A.T.M.s to retreat currency from their accounts, according to the Department of Justice.

In different incidental that month, Mr. Jenkins admitted, according to prosecutors, that helium and others “lured aggregate victims” to an flat complex, pointed a handgun astatine them, robbed them of their belongings and assaulted them, injuring 1 of them.

Mr. Jenkins told investigators that members of his radical utilized cheery slurs and taunted the victims and that 1 subordinate attempted to sexually battle 1 of the victims, the Department of Justice said.

Prosecutors said that Mr. Jenkins besides admitted to taking portion successful the carjacking of astatine slightest 1 victim.

Mr. Jenkins’s co-conspirators were Michael Atkinson, Pablo Ceniceros-Deleon and Daryl Henry, each of whom were successful their 20s. The 3 men pleaded blameworthy successful June, and their sentences ranged from 11 to 22 years.

“Unfortunately, contempt our champion efforts, bigots often lurk online,” Chad Meacham, acting U.S. lawyer for the Northern District of Texas, said successful a statement. “We impulse users of dating apps similar Grindr to stay vigilant.”

Grindr is 1 of respective dating apps that person grown successful popularity among L.G.B.T.Q. users and person helped redefined the mode they meet. Released successful 2009, Grindr is simply a location-based app that tells its millions of users worldwide however acold they are from 1 another.

In its safety guidelines, the institution suggests that if idiosyncratic wants to conscionable different idiosyncratic of the app, “do truthful successful nationalist first, astatine a harmless abstraction similar an L.G.B.T.Q.+ affable cafe, and beryllium cautious astir what possessions you instrumentality with you.”

The institution did not instantly respond for remark astir the lawsuit connected Thursday.

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