Man pleads guilty to homophobic attack using gay dating app

Two other men were also charged in connection with the incident

Man pleads guilty to homophobic attack using gay dating app

The Grindr app in use on a Samsung smartphone | Image: Jonathan Brady / PA Archive/Press Association Images

A man in the US has pleaded guilty to assaulting another man because of his sexual orientation.

According to the plea agreement, Chancler Encalade (20) admitted that he and two other men - Nigel Garrett and Anthony Shelton - used the social media dating app Grindr to arrange to meet the victim at his home.

Upon entering the home, the defendants restrained the victim with tape, physically assaulted him and made derogatory statements to him for being gay.

The defendants also brandished a firearm and stole the victim’s property, including his car.

A federal grand jury previously had returned an 18-count 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 men with conspiring to cause bodily injury because of the victims’ sexual orientation during four home invasions at different locations in Texas from January 17th to February 7th of this year.

Nigel Garrett and Cameron Ajiduah subsequently pleaded guilty to hate crime charges from this indictment, and both are awaiting sentencing.

Acting US Assistant Attorney General John Gore said: “The Justice Department will not tolerate hate crimes against any individual, for any reason, including sexual orientation.

"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."

Encalade faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a US$250,000 (€211,514) fine for his guilty plea to the hate crime charge.