Two Texas men have been sentenced to
federal prison for hate-crime assaults on gay men.
According to the AP, Anthony Shelton,
20, and Cameron Ajiduah, 19, were sentence Monday to 20 and 15 years
in prison, respectively.
Shelton, Ajiduah and two other men used
Grindr, a dating app for gay and bisexual men, to find men to assault
and rob. The other men – Chancler Encalade and Nigel Garrett –
were sentenced earlier this year. Encalade received 10 years in
prison, while Garrett received a 15-year sentence.
Joseph D. Brown, U.S. attorney for the
eastern district of Texas, said in a press release that the case
“highlights the danger of the internet and specifically online
“In this case, 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,” Brown
According to the plea agreement signed
by Garrett, the defendants used Grindr to meet their victims at their
homes. The victims were physically assaulted, bound and robbed
during the home invasion. The defendants would make homophobic
statements to the victims while brandishing a firearm. The crimes
were committed in the Texas cities of Plano, Frisco and Aubrey over a
three-week period early last year.
An 18-count indictment handed down by a
federal grand jury in May included charges of hate crimes,
kidnappings, carjackings and use of a firearm to commit violent