A 23-year-old London man has been sentenced to 14 years in prison after being found guilty of raping and robbing three men he met through Grindr.
Aaron Goodey, of Enfield, was convicted on three counts of rape, two counts of robbery, and one count of blackmail, and sentenced at Wood Green Crown Court on Sept. 17.
The investigation into Goodey began after two separate men made reports to police, claiming to have met him through Grindr. Both men said he raped them and then walked them to ATMs, where he forced them to withdraw funds from their personal bank accounts. Both attacks took place in the Enfield area of London.
Goodey was arrested in July 2020, and vehemently denied the allegations against him. However, prosecutors pointed to forensic evidence obtained from one of the victims, as well as CCTV footage and cell phone data placing Goodey in the area of the assaults, as evidence that he had committed the crimes, reports the Daily Mail.
While charged with the two attacks, Goodey was linked to a third attack in Lambeth in January 2020, in which the victim claimed to have been lured into meeting Goodey, only to be sexually assaulted and robbed.
Detective Superintendent Seb Adjei-Addoh, from the local policing team in Enfield, called Goodey “a dangerous sexual attacker” who “posed a significant risk to men across London.”
“[Goodey] gained access to the victim’s houses before subjecting them to significant sexual attacks, while using and threatening further violence, to extort money,” Adjei-Addoh said in a statement following the sentencing.
“This sentence sends a clear message that sexual violence towards any person will not be tolerated in London and I acknowledge the bravery shown by the victims in this case who provided crucial evidence to ensure Goodey cannot offend again.”
Adjei-Addoh also urged others who have been victimized by similar attacks to contact police, ensuring that reports would be dealt with sensitively and that complainants’ identities will be kept confidential.
Goodey is not the only criminal defendant to be accused of using dating apps to lure victims, underscoring the need for users of dating apps to be vigilant and take precautions before meeting in person.
Last year, 25-year-old Joel Osei and 19-year-old Diana Cristea were found guilty of murdering Irish dancer Adrian Murphy in southwest London. The two allegedly lured Murphy, through Grindr, into meeting with Osei in person in order to rob him, and ended up poisoning him with scopolamine.
Similarly, in the United States, criminals have used gay dating apps to lure victims into unsafe situations, often with the intent of robbing them.
Earlier this year, three Texas men were sentenced to between 12 and 22 years in prison for using Grindr to target gay and bisexual victims for robbery.
In 2020, a Louisiana man allegedly used Grindr to arrange a date with a man in order to torture and kill him, attempting to mutilate and dismember him in a bathtub. That same year, a man in the Bronx was arrested for hacking his Grindr date to death with a machete.
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