This has been a long time coming, the fact that someone has plead guilty to a hate crime. Usually we hear from the defendant that either hate crime law is illegal or unconstitutional or we will learn that a hate crime was committed, but the state/city where the crime occurred has no hate crime law. But of all places, now, we are hearing that someone is pleading guilty to a hate crime. But it might just be a timing issue.
Daniel Jenkins, 22, is the fourth and final person to plead guilty in the robberies, carjackings, and other crimes in the Dallas area in December 2017. Goodness, justice is slooooow.
We reported on this case back in January of 2019 in the post “Two Texas Men Got Hate Crimes Charges For Robbing, Beating, & Sexually Assaulting Grindr Users.” The crimes were committed back in Dallas, Texas in December of 2017 and now, over three and a half years later, it seems the defense is worn down and the defendant is saying he did commit the hate crimes. Could it be as well that this case was being argued with federal hate crime statures and not state?
Jenkins and the three other men used the dating app Grindr to target gay men in order to rob and assault them. He pleaded guilty Wednesday to a hate crime count, conspiracy to commit a hate crime count, kidnapping, carjacking, and using a firearm during a crime of violence.
The app-using victims (at least 9 men have been identified) were lured to meet up, then were robbed, held at gunpoint, and then took money out of the victims’ account at an ATM.
“These defendants brutalized multiple victims, singling them out due to their sexual orientation. We cannot allow this sort of violence to fester unchecked.” – Acting U.S. District Attorney Prerak Shah
NBCNews recounts the testimony: Members of the group taunted their victims with gay slurs. One of the robbers wiped feces on two people among other assaults, according to court documents. Read the entire Federal Justice Department’s release over at Justice.gov.
The trail took 3.5+ years and Jenkins will face up to 26 years in prison when sentencing occurs in early October.
Three other three Grindr-using criminals (Michael Atkinson, Daryl Henry, and Pablo Ceniceros-Deleon) will be sentences toward the end of June as hey pleaded guilty earlier on. How much time will they get? Well, if an earlier decision on a similar case where men used the same dating app to plan and carry out home invasions, those four men received between 10 and 20 year long sentences.