LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – A Lafayette man who lured a gay man to a secluded home and tortured him until he nearly died pled guilty to kidnapping this week.
In exchange for the guilty kidnapping plea, several other federal charges were dismissed, including hate crime with attempt to kill and additional kidnapping charges.
Chance Seneca, 21, of Lafayette is still facing state charges of attempted first-degree murder and committing a hate crime.
The victim, Holden White, told News 10 that the assault happened in June of 2020. Seneca, who he’d met on a gay and bisexual dating app, invited him over for a video game date. White would leave that date, bloodied, stabbed, and barely alive.
“When [police] arrived, I was in the bathtub naked with multiple stab wounds and strangulation marks around my neck and a big hole in the back of my head from him bashing it with a hammer,” White said.
White said that shortly after he arrived at Seneca’s home, Seneca strangled him with a belt, rupturing nearly every blood vessel in his face.
White told News 10 that Seneca then threw him in the bathtub, stabbed him in the neck with an ice pick six times, and then attempted to dismember him by sawing his wrists down to the bone using a bower’s knife.
White said that Seneca then called 911, admitting he had killed a man. However, White was alive.
“Everyone in the courtroom looked at me except him. If that doesn’t say guilty,” White said.
This week, he faced Seneca for the first time again since that day and told News 10 that “At the courthouse when he was speaking, it sounded like he had sadness in his voice, like he was crying a little.”
Seneca pled guilty to a federal kidnapping charge as part of a plea deal. That deal meant other charges, including hate crime with attempt to kill, were dismissed.
“When I first heard of this plea agreement, I was genuinely upset. It’s honestly one of the first times that I have cried about my case,” he added.
White said that he feels strongly that this was a hate crime, as Seneca had allegedly said he hunted for his victims on Grindr, a gay dating app.
“It was just upsetting because I have seen multiple instances where minorities have been failed by the government, and in that moment, I felt like I was starting to become one of them,” he said.
While Seneca’s federal hate crime charge was dismissed, he still faces state charges of attempted second-degree murder and committing a hate crime.
White also said that justice to him would be Seneca serving life in prison. As for himself, White said that he’s moving on.
“It’s okay to be upset. It’s okay to feel like you’ve been knocked down, but you must get back up because if you stay down, you’ll never get back up,” he said.
Seneca’s sentencing will be in Lafayette on January 25, 2023.