Lafayette Man Pleads Guilty to Kidnapping Gay Man as Part of Scheme to Murder Grindr Users
A 21-year-old Lafayette man pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping today, admitting that he used a dating app for gay and bisexual men as part of a scheme to kidnap and murder them.
Chance Seneca (21) of Lafayette, Louisiana admitted that he used the Grindr mobile back in June of 2020 to kidnap a gay man with the intent to kill him.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the kidnapping and attempted murder of this specific victim on June 20, 2020, was only the start of a scheme he planned to continue murdering more victims to satisfy his "homicidal urges."
Seneca acknowledged that he used Grindr to propose a meeting with H.W., and that he drove H.W. to an isolated house, took out a handgun and told him to put on handcuffs. Seneca then attempted to murder and dismember H.W. Seneca acknowledged that he intended to murder and dismember H.W. for the purpose of satisfying his homicidal urges, and that he had planned to continue murdering until he was caught or killed.
This is a story that our KPEL News team covered when Lafayette Police initially reported the stabbing that put Seneca behind bars while his victim was left in critical condition at a local hospital.
Eventually, a hate crime was tacked on to the charges, and Seneca was ultimately indicted in the stabbing of the gay Lafayette teen.
Upon today's guilty plea, Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division called Seneca's actions and intentions "shocking."
The actions and intentions of the defendant in this case were shocking. 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.
U.S. Attorney Brandon B. Brown for the Western District of Louisiana said that given the "disturbing" facts surrounding the case, it's "miraculous" that the defendant is still alive.
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.
While life in prison is the statutory maximum for a kidnapping offense, Seneca may be facing additional exposure.
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 currently scheduled for January 25, 2023.