Prosecutors accused a man in southwestern Louisiana of federal hate crimes and kidnapping charges, and said he tried to kill and dismember one of three men he kidnapped after luring them into using social media and a dating app.
Chance Joseph Seneca, 19, from Lafayette, was charged on Thursday in what a Justice Department press release described as a “comprehensive plot to kidnap and kill” gay men. The indictment said Seneca intended to keep parts of the victim’s body as “souvenirs, prizes and food.”
Along with the federal indictment issued Thursday in Lafayette, there is a recent sworn affidavit that Lafayette Police responding to a call from Seneca last June found Holden White, 18, critically injured in a bathtub with signs of suffocation on his neck and “ His wrists were cut to the bone. “
The affidavit was provided in August by an FBI agent and was based on information from Lafayette Police and a conversation the agent had with Seneca. She added that Seneca told the police that he called 911 after the attack “in an attempt to describe her by herself to place her in a mental institution.”
White survived and later said he was sure he was targeted because he’s gay. “This is a hate crime because of the fact that he made a choice of a gay man over a gay application,” he said in an interview in November.
Seneca, in state custody, is already facing charges of attempted murder and a hate state charge in the June 20 attack. The public defender, Clay Lejeune, confirmed, Thursday, that he has pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against him by the state. The dates for the federal hearings were not set until Thursday afternoon. Lejeune Seneca is not represented in the federal case and declined to comment immediately on the latest charges.
The federal indictment charges Seneca with three counts of kidnapping and a “hate crime with intent to murder.” The indictment says Seneca kidnapped two more men on June 19, but did not provide many details.