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3 Dallas men sentenced for 2017 attacks on gay men who were lured via Grindr app

Their prison sentences range from 12 to 22 years. A fourth assailant is scheduled to be sentenced in October.

Three Dallas men who pleaded guilty in 2019 to kidnapping, attacking and robbing gay men by luring them through the Grindr social networking app were sentenced to prison Wednesday.

They were among four charged in connection with the scheme, which occurred in 2017 and resulted in attacks on at least nine men ranging from 19 to 57 years old, according to court records.

Pablo Ceniceros-Deleon, 19, was sentenced to 22 years in prison for aiding and abetting in hate crime acts, aiding and abetting in carjacking and aiding and abetting in the use of a firearm during a violent crime. He also was ordered to pay $3,820 in restitution.

His lawyer, Carolyn Hill, said her client “acknowledged his part in the wrongdoing.”

Daryl Henry, 24, was sentenced to 20 years for one count of conspiracy to commit hate crimes, kidnapping and carjacking and one count of aiding and abetting hate crime acts, court records state. He was ordered to pay about $30,370 in restitution.

Richard Armstrong, Henry’s lawyer, said he thinks the judge factored in Henry’s mental health during sentencing, adding that his client’s condition was “untreated at the time” of the incident.

Michael Atkinson, 24, was sentenced to 11 years and eight months for one count of conspiracy to commit hate crimes, kidnapping and carjacking, and one count of aiding and abetting in kidnapping, according to court records.

Taly Haffar, Atkinson’s attorney, said his client was not part of the “most egregious aspects” of the scheme.

“In fact, Mr. Atkinson was not a part of creating the original plan, nor was he present when the victims were restrained and assaulted,” Haffar said in a written statement. “Atkinson arrived towards the very end of the offense, unaware of what had occurred before his arrival, but did assist in taking money from one of the victims.”

Atkinson pleaded guilty in March 2019, and Ceniceros-Deleon and Henry pleaded guilty that December.

The fourth conspirator, 22-year-old Daniel Jenkins, pleaded guilty June 2. He faces up to 26 years in prison for committing a hate crime; taking part in a conspiracy, kidnapping and carjacking; and using a firearm in a violent crime, according to court records. He is scheduled for sentencing on Oct. 6.

The four arranged meetings with the victims using the social networking app Grindr, records state. Once the victims arrived, the assailants forced them into a vacant unit at the Solana Ridge complex near Buckner Boulevard and Forney Road in East Dallas, where they were held against their will and subjected to homophobic taunting.

Victims were robbed, pistol-whipped, beaten and sexually assaulted, federal authorities have said. Their wallets, money, car keys, cars, driver’s licenses, other identification, cellphones and credit cards were stolen, and in each case, the victim was forced to withdraw money from an ATM at gunpoint, records state.

At least two victims were smeared with feces and urinated on, and one victim was assaulted with an object, court documents state.

The spree ended after one of their victims escaped and alerted authorities.

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