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A man in Dallas, Tex., has pleaded guilty to federal hate crime charges after using Grindr to entrap gay men and commit violent crimes against them.
Daniel Jenkins, 22, is the fourth and final person to plead guilty for participating in the scheme, KSAT reports. Three others, Michael Atkinson, Pablo Cineceros-Deleon, and Daryl Henry, pleaded guilty in 2019.
According to prosecutors, the men created fake profiles to lure gay men to an apartment in East Dallas. Jenkins would meet the men and invite them inside, where the gay men were held at gunpoint, beaten, and robbed of their wallets, car keys, and cell phones.
At least one victim was sexually assaulted with an object, while at least two were urinated on and had feces wiped on them.
Jenkins pleaded guilty to five counts, including hate crime and hate crime conspiracy.
“These defendants brutalized multiple victims, singling them out due to their sexual orientation,” acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah said in a statement. “We cannot allow this sort of violence to fester unchecked.”
Shah added that the Department of Justice is “committed to prosecuting hate crimes. In the meantime, we urge dating app users to remain vigilant. Unfortunately, predators often lurk online.”
Using Grindr to poach crime victims is not an original idea, and has been utilized in several different instances in recent years.
Police in Atlanta issued a warning to gay men earlier this year after a string of robberies in which victims were held at gunpoint and carjacked by people they met using the gay dating app Grindr.
In February, a Houston man was charged with capital murder after using Grindr to arrange a meeting with a man who he robbed and strangled to death.
Last year, a teenager was arrested after lethally shooting a man and wounding two others after meeting them through Grindr.
In June 2020, a Louisiana student was left in critical condition after he was stabbed in the neck by a man he met through Grindr who reportedly admired serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.
Earlier that year, a New York man was pistol-whipped and robbed at gunpoint after arranging to meet a man through Grindr. And in March, a British man was accused of stabbing a gay teenager more than 100 times after meeting one another through Grindr.
A similar case in Baltimore saw three suspects use the app to trick at least four unsuspecting victims into meeting with them with the intent of robbing them.
In Oklahoma, police arrested a man — thought to have worked with at least two other men and a woman — who was accused of using Grindr to arrange meetings with gay men at a “house of horrors” where multiple men were forced to lie on the dirty floor of a garage strewn with trash and old mattresses while their attackers stole their personal belongings and attempted to withdraw money from their bank accounts.
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