A Lafayette man has pleaded guilty to kidnapping a man he met on Grindr in federal court.
WARNING: Some may find the details of this story disturbing.
Chance Seneca, 21, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of kidnapping. He admitted to U.S. District Judge Robert Summerhays that he used Grindr, a dating app, to kidnap and try to kill a gay man. He said he used Grindr specifically to propose a meeting with the victim, drove the victim to an isolated house, then handcuffed and tried to murder and dismember the victim.
Seneca told the judge that he intended to murder and dismember the victim for the purpose of satisfying his homicidal urges, and that he had planned to continue murdering until he was caught or killed.
Seneca still faces an attempted second-degree murder charge in state court; a trial date is set in that case for January.
KATC does not usually identify surviving victims of attacks, but the victim in this case has allowed his name to be used. He talked to us after the attack, and told us he was finding hope in the aftermath of what happened to him. You can see that story here.
“The actions and intentions of the defendant in this case were shocking,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The internet should be accessible and safe for all Americans, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. The Justice Department will continue to identify and hold accountable anyone who uses online spaces as a means to terrorize or abuse others.”
“The facts surrounding the events that took place in this case are very disturbing,” said U.S. Attorney Brandon B. Brown for the Western District of Louisiana. “It is nothing short of miraculous that the victims who endured the vicious attacks from this defendant survived. We will continue to fight to seek justice for victims who suffer at the hands of defendants such as this.”
The statutory maximum for the kidnapping offense is life imprisonment. Seneca faces additional exposure under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines if the sentencing court finds beyond a reasonable doubt that he intentionally selected the victim because of the victim’s actual or perceived gender or sexual orientation.
Sentencing is scheduled for January 25, 2023.
The FBI and the Lafayette Police Department conducted the investigation. This case is being prosecuted by Deputy Criminal Chief Myers Namie of the Western District of Louisiana and Trial Attorney Thomas Johnson of the Civil Rights Division.