A Louisiana man was sentenced to 45 years in federal prison for kidnapping and attempting to murder a gay teen as part of a broader hate crime scheme targeting men on an LGBTQ dating app, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.

Chance Seneca, 21, pleaded guilty in September and admitted to kidnapping the teenager he met on Grindr with the intent to kill him and dismember his body. His decades-long sentence was based on a variety of factors, the Justice Department revealed, including that Seneca intentionally targeted the teen and other gay men because of his sexual orientation.

Seneca Opportunity.Lafayette Sheriff’s Department

The Justice Department said Seneca spent months «designing a murder-kidnapping scheme that mirrored the murders of gay men committed by notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.» He added that, as with Dahmer, Seneca intended to eat and preserve the body parts of his victims.

«The facts of this case are truly shocking, and the defendant’s decision to specifically target gay men is a disturbing reminder of the unique prejudices and dangers facing the LGBTQ+ community today,» said Kristen Clarke, Deputy Attorney General for the department’s civil rights division. she said in a statement. «The Internet must be accessible and safe for all Americans, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.»

Last year, Seneca admitted that in June 2020 he intended to kill the victim, Holden White, then 18, «for the purpose of satisfying his homicidal urges,» according to a statement. earlier statement from the Department of Justice. White survived the grisly assault, but was left in a coma for three days.

holden white
Holden White.Courtesy Holden White

After his arrest, Seneca also acknowledged that he intended to kill other gay men until he was caught or kill himself, the Justice Department said Wednesday. Within days of his assault on White, Seneca allegedly attempted to kidnap a different man and allegedly kidnapped another, the Justice Department said in a statement. above statement.

On Wednesday, White posted a brief message on Facebook, in what appeared to be a response to Seneca’s sentence: «45 years.»

The Louisiana case is one of several where people have used Grindr, a dating app founded in 2009 that is predominantly used by gay men, to target LGBTQ people around the world.

British serial killer Stephen Port, nicknamed «The Grindr Killer», was sentenced to life in prison in 2016 for drugging, raping and killing four men he met through the app. In 2018, he was widely reported that Egyptian authorities and residents were using Grindr and other dating apps catch and chase gay men. And a Texas man was sentenced to 23 years in federal prison in 2021 for using Grindr to commit a series of robberies, carjackings and other crimes in the Dallas area in December 2017.

«We agree with AG Clarke’s assistant that the internet should be accessible and safe for everyone, regardless of gender or sexual orientation,» Patrick Lenihan, Grindr’s vice president and global head of communications, said in a statement. «Grindr will continue to work towards a better and safer world for the LGBTQ community.»

Brandon B. Brown, US Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, said in Wednesday’s statement that hate crimes «are a priority for the Department and this office, and we take these types of cases very seriously.»

«It is important that we all remain vigilant and cautious while using the Internet in our daily lives to avoid situations that could lead to destructive behavior by others toward us,» Brown urged.