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Crime

Texas Man Sentenced for Hate Crimes Using Dating App

Dallas resident Daniel Jenkins was sentenced for committing violent crimes while using the dating app Grindr. Jenkins was sentenced to 280 months in federal prison. He is one of four defendants convicted of being part of a conspiracy to target users through Grindr.

Dallas Jenkins pled guilty to multiple crimes

Jenkins admitted to conspiring and targeting nine men around the Dallas area. His crimes included kidnapping, carjacking, and hate crimes because he believed his victims were gay. The conspirators held the men at gunpoint and made them drive to nearby ATMs to withdraw cash from their accounts.

In December 2017, a conspirator set up user profiles on Grindr to lure men to a location to rob them. Jenkins admitted to luring multiple victims to an apartment complex, pointing a gun at them, robbing them, and assaulting them. At least one victim suffered physical injury. Jenkins pled guilty to a count of conspiracy to commit hate crimes, kidnapping and carjacking, one hate crime count, and one count of use of a firearm during a crime of violence. By pleading guilty, Jenkins has admitted to joining the conspiracy.

Grindr has been a safety concern

Grindr was founded in 2009 and has been criticized for safety and privacy over the years. The Dallas case is just the latest in several instances where Grindr was used to target gay men around the globe. Stephen Port, known as “The Grindr Killer,” drugged, raped, and killed four men through the app and was eventually sentenced to life in prison in 2016. Grindr recommends its users to meet in a public safe space like an LGBTQ+ friendly cafe and be careful when out.

The FBI’s Dallas Field Office headed the federal investigation, while the Dallas Police Department conducted independent criminal research.