Texas man admits using Grindr to ‘lure’ victims for violent homophobic attacks
A third man has pleaded guilty on hate crime charges after using Grindr to find and attack gay men.
Chancler Encalade, 20, pleaded guilty to assaulting a man because of the victim’s sexual orientation.
Encalade admitted that he and three other men used Grindr to arrange to find a victim and arrange a ‘meet-up’ for sex at the victim’s home.
The gun-toting homophobes entered the victim’s home before overpowering him, tying him up with tape, physically assaulting him, and screaming anti-gay slurs.
They proceeded to ransack the property, before making a getaway with the victim’s property and motor vehicle.
A federal grand jury previously returned an eighteen-count superseding indictment, against Encalade and three other men, which included charges for hate crimes, kidnappings, carjackings, and the use of firearms to commit violent crimes.
The indictment also charged the defendants with conspiring to cause bodily injury because of the victims’ sexual orientation during four home invasions in Plano, Frisco, and Aubrey, Texas, from January 17 to February 7, 2017.
Nigel Garrett and Cameron Ajiduah previously pleaded guilty to hate crime charges from this indictment, and both await sentencing.
A fourth man, Anthony Shelton, was also indicted but is yet to enter a plea.
The US Justice Department pursued the hate crime charges.
Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore said: “The Justice Department will not tolerate hate crimes against any individual, for any reason, including sexual orientation.
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“Hate crimes are violent crimes and they attack the fundamental principles of the United States. The Justice Department will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute hate crimes.”
Acting U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston said: “Crimes of violence are an investigative priority for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
“An assault perpetrated because of one’s race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, or among other prohibited factors, is an attack on American values.
“We will leave no stone un-turned to prosecute hate crimes.”
Encalade could face a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 fine for the crime.
A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a pre-sentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracey Batson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas and Trial Attorney Saeed Mody of the Civil Rights Division.