HOUSTON – A 28-year-old Houston man remains in custody pending trial on federal hate crime charges allegedly motivated by gender identity and sexual orientation, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
The charges allege Salih Alhemoud used Grindr, a social media application for members of the LGBTQ community, to set up a date with a transgender victim whom he subsequently assaulted.
According to court records, authorities are also investigating a series of other similar incidents they believe Alhemoud committed this past summer.
A photo of Alhemoud is attached. If you believe you are a victim, or have any information regarding any such potential victims, please contact the FBI Houston Field Office at 713-693-5000.
Alhemoud is charged with committing a hate crime, kidnapping, and possessing a firearm during a crime of violence. Court records allege Alhemoud used Grindr to set up a date on Aug. 29 with his transgender victim at her apartment. Upon arrival, he allegedly pulled out a gun and demanded her money and property. She was unable to produce any cash, so Alhemoud hit her with his pistol and stomped her on the face and chest, according to the charges. He also allegedly told her she was going to die and made statements such as “my religion considers you a demon,” and that she “was a demon like the others, all you trans people,” among other homosexual and transgender slurs.
A federal grand jury returned the three-count indictment Oct. 26. At a detention hearing following his arrest, he was found to be a danger to the community and ordered into custody pending further criminal proceedings. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.
The FBI and Houston Police Department are jointly conducting this investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sharad Khandelwal and Christine Lu are prosecuting the case.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.