UPDATE: DOJ Charges Dallas Men with Federal Hate Crimes Charges Including Kidnapping, Conspiracy, and Carjacking After Targeting Gay Men for Violent Attacks Using Grindr

The United States Department of Justice issued a statement saying that Daniel Jenkins, 20, and Daryl Henry, 22, were charged by a federal grand jury in a superseding indictment unsealed yesterday with conspiracy to commit hate crimes, kidnapping, and carjacking.

The announcement was made by Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox for the Northern District of Texas, and FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Matthew DeSarno of the Dallas Division. Mr. Jenkins and Mr. Henry were also charged with hate crimes and kidnapping. Additionally, Mr. Jenkins was charged with carjacking and brandishing a firearm during crimes of violence.

“According to the 15 count indictment—which supersedes a previously filed indictment—members of the conspiracy used Grindr, a dating app for LGBT people, to create fake profiles and pose as gay men interested in “dates” to lure gay men to an apartment complex in Dallas, Texas, in order to commit violent crimes against them, including kidnapping, assault, robbery, and carjacking. Members of the conspiracy forced the victims at gunpoint to relinquish their possessions, including their wallets, money, car keys, cars, drivers’ licenses and identification cards, credit and debit cards, and cellular telephones.”

According to the indictment, the conspirators used Grindr to lure nine victims to an apartment complex in Dallas from Dec. 6, 2017, through Dec. 11, 2017.  On Dec. 11, 2017, the conspirators held five victims against their will in an apartment at the complex. Four of the victims were physically assaulted, three were sexually assaulted, and some victims were called gay slurs. A conspirator also urinated and wiped human feces on at least one victim. The indictment further alleges that Jenkins and Henry caused bodily injury to four victims because of their actual and perceived sexual orientation. The indictment charges both Jenkins and Henry with kidnapping these four victims and Jenkins with kidnapping two additional victims, carjacking two victims, and using a firearm in connection with the carjackings.

An indictment is merely an accusation, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, both defendants face a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison for the hate crime and kidnapping charges, five years for the conspiracy charge, and a fine of up to $250,000 with respect to each charge. Jenkins also faces up to 15 years for the carjacking charges and a mandatory minimum of at least seven years in prison, plus a $250,000 fine for each firearms charge.

The FBI’s Dallas Field Office conducted the federal investigation with the assistance and cooperation of the Dallas Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicole Dana of the Northern District of Texas and Trial Attorneys Rose E. Gibson and Kathryn E. Gilbert of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division are prosecuting the case.

Gaynrd had previously reported:

Three Dallas men now stand charged with federal hate crimes stemming from 2017. The charges include kidnapping, felony assault, and robbery. The three men allegedly specifically targeted gay men and used the dating app Grindr to lure the victims in.

“The men were robbed, pistol-whipped, beaten and sexually assaulted, federal authorities said. At least two victims were smeared with feces and urinated on, court records said. Another was sexually assaulted with an object, prosecutors said.”

Federal prosecutors said they lured at least nine “dates” to a vacant apartment in December 2017. Some victims said they were beaten, robbed, sexually assaulted and called homophobic slurs, according to a superseding indictment unsealed this week. The victims ranged in age from 19 to 57.

The Dallas Star Tribune reports:

A third Dallas man has been charged with federal hate crimes in connection with a string of kidnappings and robberies in 2017 that targeted gay men lured to an apartment from posts on a dating app.

Court records show that Daryl Henry, 22, is charged with nine counts, including conspiracy to commit hate crimes, kidnapping and carjacking, according to The Dallas Morning News. Henry pleaded not guilty on Tuesday, and a judge ordered him held without bond pending trial.

A federal indictment said the defendants used the gay dating app Grindr to create fake profiles and “pose as gay men interested in ‘dates’ to lure gay men.” Once the victims arrived, the suspects forced them into the Dallas apartment.

Police found out about the crimes when one of the nine victims managed two escape and led police back to the apartment where he and others were being held.

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