Two men in Dallas are charged with federal hate crimes after authorities say they used the dating app Grindr to lure gay men to a vacant apartment, where they would then rob and beat them.
The victims in the case — nine of them — range in age from 19 to 57.
Daniel Jenkins and Michael Atkinson are accused of using Grindr to create fake profiles, posing as gay men and luring men to a vacant apartment at the Solana Ridge Apartment complex in the 8000 block of Chariot Drive in East Dallas. Jenkins would meet the men at their cars and then invite them inside, according to an indictment that was unsealed this week.
The document says that during the first two weeks of December 2017, Jenkins and Atkinson pointed guns at some of the men and beat them. At least one man was sexually assaulted with an object, according to the indictment.
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In another instance, one man was urinated on and feces were wiped on him, according to the indictment.
The men were robbed of their wallets, cars, cell phones and identification and other personal documents, the indictment says.
On Dec. 7, one victim was forced at gunpoint to drive to an ATM. On Dec. 11, according to the indictment, Atkinson went to one of the victims’ homes to steal property.
Jenkins and Atkinson were arrested in August and are charged in the 15-count indictment with conspiracy to commit hate crimes by kidnapping and carjacking, brandishing a firearm, aiding and abetting kidnapping. The case is being handled in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in Dallas.
“Criminals are using apps like Grindr to single out victims based on their sexual orientation. My office is committed to rooting out these despicable crimes motivated by hate,” said U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.