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Online dating app robber is sentenced to 22 years

A Compton man faces almost two-dozen years behind bars at sentencing today for targeting and robbing men he met on the Grindr
dating app. Derrick Patterson, 23, pleaded guilty in July in downtown Los Angeles to federal robbery and aggravated identity theft charges. The charges carry a total sentence of up to 22 years in federal prison, prosecutors noted.

Patterson targeted his victims by using Grindr. Prosecutors say he met his victims at their homes or in hotel rooms, purportedly for sexual encounters, then robbed them. Patterson pulled weapons on his victims --knives or a Taser gun -- on his victims, then demanded money and their cell phones.

During an October 2020 robbery, Patterson stabbed a victim in the chest. The victim survived and later positively identified Patterson as his attacker, federal prosecutors said.

On other occasions, Patterson physically assaulted his victims. He then later withdrew money from victims' bank accounts or used their credit cards for his own personal expenses, according to the criminal complaint filed in Los Angeles federal court.

A final robbery occurred on March 26 of this year at a hotel in Beverly Hills, according to court papers.

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