Daniel Jenkins, a 22-year-old man from Dallas, has been sentenced to more than 23 years in federal prison after committing violent crimes against gay users of Grindr, the dating app. With this sentencing, Jenkins becomes the last among the four defendants to be found guilty, CBSLocal reported.
The sentencing came after Jenkins admitted to the crime. He said he was part of a conspiracy to unleash violent crimes against nine men from the Dallas area. The crimes planned included carjacking, kidnapping, and hate crimes. The reason for the hate against these nine men was their sexual orientation. Jenkins admitted that he did so because he believed that the victims were gay. His involvement in the conspiracy and crimes will now make Jenkins spend 280 months in federal prison.
Victims Were Gay Men Who Were on Grindr
The crime had unfolded thus: On December 6, 2017, the conspirators, including Jenkins, used the gay dating platform Grindr to attract and invite men to an apartment complex in Dallas. The gay men fell for the bait and arrived at the apartment complex.
Little did the victims realize that they had walked into a trap laid out by Jenkins and his accomplices as they came into the apartment. They walked into Jenkins and his co-conspirators, who were waiting for the victims. They then held the men at gunpoint and made them drive to local ATMs, withdraw cash and hand it over to the criminals.
Jenkins picked victims as per their sexual orientation
The court that sentenced Jenkins particularly singled him out for his hate against the men for their sexual orientation. Pointing out that Jenkins had singled out the victims for their sexual orientation and viciously assaulted them, Acting U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham for the Northern District of Texas said that, “despite the best efforts, bigots often lurk online. We urge users of dating apps like Grindr to remain vigilant.” The Department of Justice will not tolerate these sorts of heinous, hate-based attacks, and the report quoted him saying.
The court noted Jenkins’s violent attack against innocent men because he believed they were gay. It is believed that the sentencing would be a lesson to those who commit such bias-motivated crimes.
Three other men – Michael Atkinson, Pablo Ceniceros-Deleon, and Daryl Henry – were the other accused, pleading guilty. Atkinson got more than 11 years in prison, while Ceniceros-Deleon was sentenced to 22 years and Henry got 20 years.