A Dallas, Texas, man pleaded guilty to federal hate crime charges for a string of crimes in 2017. Daniel Jenkins, 22, admitted he used the gay dating app Grindr to target men for their “perceived sexual orientation.” Jenkins was the last of four men to plead guilty to crimes […]
- A Dallas, Texas, man pleaded guilty to federal hate crime charges for a string of crimes in 2017.
- Daniel Jenkins, 22, admitted he used the gay dating app Grindr to target men for their "perceived sexual orientation."
- Jenkins was the last of four men to plead guilty to crimes involved in the 2017 scheme, according to the Justice Department.
A 22-year-old Dallas, Texas, man last week pleaded guilty to a slew of charges, including federal hate crime charges, and admitted he and his co-conspirators used a gay dating app to target gay men for violent crimes.
Daniel Jenkins admitted that he and other men used the app Grindr, the dating app predominantly used by gay men, to lure men because of their "perceived sexual orientation" to an abandoned apartment complex and other areas around Dallas, according to the Justice Department.
The crimes took place over the course of about one week in December 2017 and included kidnapping, carjacking, robbery, and hate crimes, according to court documents. Jenkins admitted he and his co-conspirators held people against their will, held victims at gunpoint, forced them to withdraw money from ATMs, and stole their property, including their vehicles.
Jenkins also told authorities that one of his co-conspirators had attempted to use an "object" to sexually assault one of the victims, according to court documents. Jenkins also said one of his co-conspirators had "wiped human feces on at least two victims," documents say.
Jenkins admitted he and his co-conspirators had physically injured at least one person and had "taunted the victims based upon the co-conspirators' perception of the men's sexual orientation," according to the Justice Department.
Three others involved in the incidents previously pleaded guilty to crimes. Michael Atkinson pleaded guilty to conspiracy and kidnapping charges in March 2019. Daryl Henry and Pablo Ceniceros-Deleon pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime charge and other charges in December 2019, according to the DOJ.
The other three co-conspirators are set to be sentenced on June 23.
"These defendants brutalized multiple victims, singling them out due to their sexual orientation. We cannot allow this sort of violence to fester unchecked," Acting US Attorney Prerak Shah of the Northern District of Texas said in a statement. "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."
Predators have previously been accused of using Grindr to target gay men. A 19-year-old Louisiana man was indicted in March by a federal grand jury on six charges, including hate crime with intent to kill, after authorities say he used the app to kidnap two men and attempted to kidnap another.
Jenkins faces up to 26 years in prison, according to the DOJ. He is set to be sentenced on October 6.