Chance Seneca, who is jailed for brutally attacking a gay man during a Grindr date last summer, is now facing a hate crime charge in addition to attempted second-degree murder.
The new charge was added Wednesday, according to court records.
Seneca, 19, is accused of inflicting life-threatening injuries to Holden White, then 18, after the two agreed to meet June 20.
Lafayette Police initially said they didn't have enough evidence to charge Seneca with a hate crime, prompting outcry from family, friends and advocates. The FBI soon got involved in the case.
White and Seneca met through the online dating app, Grindr, which is primarily used by gay and bisexual men. After talking through the app for a few weeks, White said he agreed to a June 20 date with Seneca.
Seneca would insist on picking up White from his apartment, according to messages sent through Grindr. White said Seneca then took him to his house to play video games.
Instead, Seneca tortured White and left him for dead then called 911 to report the crime, according to White's account of the incident.
White suffered from strangulation that popped nearly every blood vessel in his face, six stab wounds to the neck, blunt force trauma to his head and cuts so deep to his wrists that his hands were nearly sawed off. He spent days in a coma and nearly a month in the hospital. He continues to receive physical and occupational therapy.
As White recovered, he spoke out about the attack and advocated for a hate crime charge to be added to Seneca's second-degree murder charge. White said he believes he was attacked specifically because of his sexual orientation.
"He could have done this to a woman," White said during a December interview. "Instead, he chose to do something to someone who's gay and proud about his sexuality."
The hate crime charge comes seven months after the attack.
Seneca remains at the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center on a $250,000 bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for March 4.