A Dallas man pleaded guilty to federal hate crime charges on Thursday afternoon, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Prerak Shah and Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division announced.
Daniel Jenkins, 22, pleaded guilty to one hate crime count, one hate crime conspiracy count, kidnapping, carjacking, and one count of using a firearm during a crime of violence.
He is the last of four defendants to plead guilty to charges stemming from a scheme that targeted gay men on the dating app Grindr, the Acting U.S. Attorney said.
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"These defendants brutalized multiple victims, singling them out due to their sexual orientation." said Acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah. "We cannot allow this sort of violence to fester unchecked."
According to court documents filed in connection with his guilty plea, Jenkins admitted that he and his co-conspirators created a fake profile on Grindr, a dating app used primarily by gay men, to lure gay men to a vacant apartment and other areas in and around Dallas.
The men robbed, pistol-whipped, beat, and assaulted the victims, authorities said.
According to prosecutors, at least two were smeared with feces and urinated on, and one was sexually assaulted with an object. An indictment said the men were also subjected to anti-gay slurs.
Jenkins admitted that he and his co-conspirators held victims against their will, pointed a handgun at victims, took their personal property, and traveled to local ATMs to withdraw cash from the victims' accounts, authorities said.
These crimes took place over the course of approximately a week in December 2017.
In March 2019, Jenkin's co-conspirator Michael Atkinson pleaded guilty to conspiracy and kidnapping charges in connection with this case.
In December 2019, Daryl Henry and Pablo Ceniceros-Deleon also 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, 2021. Jenkins' sentencing is set for Oct. 6.
If convicted, Jenkins faces a sentence of up to 26 years in prison.