KENT, Wash. — Police in Kent, Wash., say they have arrested a man who used popular gay dating and cell phone apps to set up dates with gay men at remote locations and then robbed them at gunpoint.
Assistant Chief Pat Lowery said that Leverne Lee Maxwell, 32, was arrested last week at his Kent apartment and is currently charged with seven separate counts of rape, robbery, burglary, unlawful possession of a firearm and more.
The most serious allegations center on the April 7 sexual assault, which Maxwell is alleged to have perpetrated against a man he contacted through the “GROWLr” website and mobile phone app, reported Seattle PI.
Maxwell also reportedly used the site “Scruff” to connect with other potential victims.
Having met through the site, Maxwell posed as a buyer for a Kindle eBook the man was trying to sell, the detective told the court. Once inside the man’s home, he asked for a glass of water and again became very aggressive.
“You’re a little (anti-gay slur) aren’t you,” Maxwell told the man, according to charging papers.
“You’re gonna suck my (expletive),” he continued.
Maxwell then pulled a pistol and threatened to kill the man before sexually assaulting him.
Four days later, a second man was robbed at gunpoint in South Seattle by a man he met on GROWLr. The detective noted Maxwell also asked for a glass of water during that robbery before pulling a pistol and holding the man at gunpoint.
Maxwell is alleged to have taken a laptop computer and iPhone during the robbery.
On April 13, Maxwell is alleged to have robbed another man of his iPhone after holding him at gunpoint in Kent. According to police, the man said he met Maxwell on the SCRUFF website, another gay social networking site and app.More at Seattle PI →
Maxwell is an 11-time felon who allegedly used the cell phone belonging to the mother of his 2-year-old child to contact the victims.
Lowery said there may be other victims and they should contact police.
“We’re concerned that there may be still more victims in the community that are afraid to come forward,” he said.