Nigel Garrett was sentenced to 15 years in prison after using Grindr to lure gay men and attack them. The 21 year old Texan and three accomplices created a fake profile on the app and would arrange a meeting at the victim's house. The accused the bound the victim, physical attack and shout anti-gay slurs at him. Upon going through his house, they would leave with the victim's valuables.
During the plea agreement, portions of the crime were described.
"Garret admitted that he, Anthony Shelton, and Chancler Encalade used Grindr, a social media dating platform for gay men, to arrange to meet the victim at the victim's house.
Upon entering the victim’s home, the defendants restrained the victim with tape, physically assaulted the victim, and made derogatory statements to the victim for being gay. The defendants brandished a firearm during the home invasion, and they stole the victim’s property, including his motor vehicle.”
Texas doesn't have any hate crime laws that would protect LGBT people from such crimes. Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore relied on The Matthew Shepard and James Bryd. Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act(s). This allowed the Justice Department to go after criminals in states that currently have no protections The defendants are have also been charged with "conspiring to cause bodily injury" because of the victim's identifies as LGBT. Anthony Shelton, Chancler Encalade, and Cameron Ajiduah have all pleaded guilty, but have not been sentenced for these crimes.
John Core, Acting Assistant Attorney General stated “Hate crimes are an attack on a fundamental principle of the United States to be free from fear of violence because of your sexual orientation, gender identity, race, color, religion, or national origin.
The Department of Justice is committed to using every tool at its disposal to combat this type of violence.” While Brit Featherston, Acting U.S. Attorney stated
“Violence, in any form, is an affront to the American principles of freedom and safety that our communities are entitled to.
The Department of Justice has made prosecution of violent crime a priority. The Eastern District of Texas, in prosecuting this case and others like it, intends to demonstrate that this priority is something more than just a slogan.”
I have always said that if you're going to use gay social app be cautious.