A Texas judge sentenced two men to federal prison on Monday (30 April) for using Grindr to rob and assault gay men.
Cameron Ajiduah, 19, received a 15-year sentence and Anthony Shelton, 20, received 20 years.
In early 2017, Ajiduah and Shelton and two other men, Nigel Garrett and Chancler Encalade, used Grindr to pose as gay men. Once on the app, they arranged to meet men at their homes.
There were four victims total in Plano, Frisco, and Aubrey, Texas.
According to reports, they assaulted the men and tied them up, threatening them with guns. They called the victims ‘faggots’ and robbed them, including stealing cars.
Earlier this year, Garrett and Encalade pleaded guilty. A judge sentenced them to 15 and 10 years in prison, respectively.
Using apps for ‘sinister purposes’
All four men pled guilty to federal hate crime charges and admitted they targeted their victims because of their sexuality.
‘The Department of Justice will not tolerate any act of violence targeting individuals based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, race, color, religion, disability, or national origin,’ said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore of the Civil Rights Division in a press release.
‘The Department will continue to investigate and prosecute hate crimes cases.’
Attorney Joseph D. Brown for the Eastern District of Texas said this case ‘highlights the danger of the internet’ and specifically online apps.
‘In this case,’ he continued. ‘The defendants misused the internet for sinister purposes in order to target an innocent man based on his sexual orientation, causing him bodily harm and damage to his property.’