Dallas Man Pleads Guilty To Violent Hate Crimes Using Grindr To Target Gay Men

Photo of the gay dating app Grindr
Photo of the gay dating app Grindr
(image via Depositphotos)

Daniel Jenkins, 22, of Dallas, Texas, has pleaded guilty to federal hate crime charges in connection with his involvement in a scheme targeting gay men for violent crimes using the gay dating app Grindr. Jenkins is the fourth and final defendant charged in the scheme to plead guilty.

From the Justice Department:

Jenkins pleaded guilty to one hate crime count, one count of conspiracy to commit hate crimes, kidnapping, and carjacking, and one count of use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

According to court documents filed in connection with his guilty plea, Jenkins admitted that he and his co-conspirators used Grindr, a social media dating platform used primarily by gay men, to lure gay men to a vacant apartment and other areas in and around Dallas for robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, and hate crimes over the course of approximately a week in December 2017.

Jenkins admitted that he and his co-conspirators held victims against their will; pointed a handgun at victims and took their personal property, including their vehicles; and traveled to local ATMs to withdraw cash from the victims’ accounts.

Jenkins further admitted that he and his co-conspirators physically injured at least one victim and taunted the victims based upon the co-conspirators’ perception of the men’s sexual orientation.

In March 2019, Michael Atkinson pleaded guilty to conspiracy and kidnapping charges in connection with this case. In December 2019, Daryl Henry and Pablo Ceniceros-Deleon pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime and other charges in connection with this case. Sentencing for these three defendants is set for June 23.

At his sentencing, scheduled for October 6, Jenkins will face up to 26 years in prison.

Senate Passes Anti-Asian Hate Crimes Bill 94-1

An 18-year-old man in Jamaica is in critical condition after being ambushed in a fake dating app hookup where he was robbed, had his penis partially severed and set on fire.

Stock photo of a crime scene
The U.S. Senate approved today, by a vote of 94-1, a bill that will hopefully help law enforcement address anti-Asian hate crimes which have risen sharply during the COVID pandemic.

From Axios:

It’s a rare bipartisan endorsement of a bill by the 50-50 Senate, and comes in the wake of a spike of anti-Asian hate crimes over the last year. Sen. Josh Hawley (Mo.) was lone Republican to vote against the bill.

The bill will train law enforcement to better identify anti-Asian racism and appoint an official in the Justice Department to review and expedite COVID-19-related hate crime reports, among other measures.

Republicans originally balked at the bill when language initially referred to the legislation as “COVID-19 hate crimes.” But an amendment to just “hate crimes” assuaged those conerns.

The bill heads to the House now where it’s expected to pass before heading to President Biden’s desk.

News Round-Up: March 18, 2021

Screen capture from the acclaimed film, Poppy Field
Screen capture from the acclaimed film, Poppy Field
(screen capture from the acclaimed film Poppy Field)

Some news items you might have missed:

The Advocate: South Carolina Democratic Rep. Cezar McKnight is facing ire from his fellow party members for introducing a new anti-trans bill that would make it a felony for doctors to prescribe life-saving hormone therapy for transgender youth. McKnight is joined in supporting the bill by 23 fellow lawmakers, all Republicans.

JoeMyGod: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) says he “would talk ’til I fell over to make sure that the Equality Act doesn’t become law.” Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

Stonewall Gazette: The film Poppy Field (top image) follows the struggle of a young Romanian police officer, Cristi (Conrad Mericoffer), who tries to find balance between being a working man in a macho hierarchical environment and that of being a closeted gay person trying to keep his personal life a secret.

NBC News: President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will meet with Asian American community leaders during a scheduled visit to Georgia on Friday in the wake of the spa shootings in Atlanta that left eight people dead, six of whom were women of Asian descent.

KATC: A federal grand jury in Lafayette returned a six-count indictment charging Chance J. Seneca, 19, of Lafayette, with hate crime, kidnapping, firearm, and obstruction charges based on his attempted murder of a gay man and his overarching scheme to kidnap and murder gay men whom he met online.

CNN: Xavier Becerra was confirmed by the Senate as the first Latino Health and Human Services secretary on Thursday. The vote was 50 to 49. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) was the only Republican to vote yes – Democrat Mazie Hirono was absent.

News Round-Up: November 18, 2020

Former President Barack Obama (screen capture)

Some news items you might have missed:

Mediaite: Former President Barack Obama’s newly-released memoir, A Promised Land, sold more than 887,000 copies in the U.S. and Canada in its first 24 hours putting it on track to be the highest selling presidential memoir in modern history.

Back2Stonewall: The FBI has released its annual report on hate crimes showing that, broadly, hate crimes rose 2.7 percent in 2019. Hate crimes perpetrated against gay men rose for the third straight year from 57.8% in 2017 to 61.8% in 2019.

The Advocate: Ryan Phillippe says his parents “shunned” him for taking on the role on One Life to Live’s Billy Douglas, the first gay character on a soap opera, which he portrayed during the early ’90s. Phillippe is currently starring in ABC’s new drama, Big Sky.

Minneapolis Star Tribune: Gov. Tim Walz will impose new restrictions on bars, restaurants and fitness centers starting Friday, closing them down to the public for four weeks as COVID-19 cases surge across the state. Bars and restaurants will still be allowed to offer takeout services during that time.

CNN: The Trump campaign alleged last week that a vote cast by a Georgia woman named Deborah Jean Christiansen was fraudulent because she was reportedly dead. In fact, the vote was legally cast by a living woman who also happens to be named Deborah Jean Christiansen. Christiansen answered the door when CNN showed up on Tuesday evening.

OUT: Schitt’s Creek co-creator and star Dan Levy scored another honor as he lands on PEOPLE’s 2020 ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ List

 

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News Round-Up: October 19, 2020

Cameron Hawthorn (photo: Matthew Holler)

Some news items you might have missed:

Podcast: Just a reminder to please take a listen to my chat with the oh-so-talented country artist Cameron Hawthorn (above). I’ve been a fan for a long time, so I’m happy to share he’s just as charming as I expected.

Instinct Magazine: With hate crimes on the rise in Italy, LGBTQ folks are marching in the streets.

Netflix: Check out the trailer for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom directed by George C. Wolfe starring a cast headed up by Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman. Coming to Netflix on December 18. “Tensions rise between Ma Rainey (Viola Davis), her ambitious horn player (Chadwick Boseman), and the white management determined to control the legendary ‘Mother of the Blues.’”

Axios: The Supreme Court denied a request from Pennsylvania’s Republican Party to shorten the deadlines for mail-in ballots in the state. Thanks to the court’s 4-4 deadlock, ballots can be counted for several days after Election Day.

Jewish News: Ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election, some 75 percent of U.S. Jews would vote for Democratic nominee Joe Biden, while 22 percent would vote to re-elect U.S. President Donald Trump, according to a poll released on Monday by the American Jewish Committee. In 2016, 71 percent of American Jews voted for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, while 24 percent voted for Trump.

Politico: In an episode that has since become legendary within the CIA, Donald Trump was reportedly in the middle of a highly classified briefing on Afghanistan at his New Jersey golf club when he suddenly craved a malted milkshake. “Does anyone want a malt? We have the best malts, you have to try them,” Trump insisted, as he beckoned a waiter into the room where code-word classified intelligence was being discussed.

Fox News: Donald Trump called CNN “dumb bastards” during a campaign stop today for continuing to cover a worldwide pandemic that’s killed over 220,000 Americans and continues to surge across the country.