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FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) – A federal judge has sentenced a North Texas man to more than 15 years in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to kidnapping and severely beating a gay man he met through an online service.

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Brice Johnson could have received a life sentence for crime, even though prosecutors dropped a hate crime count against the 19-year-old Springtown man in return for his June 20 plea.

However, in assessing the 183-month sentence on Monday, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor concluded Johnson kidnapped the man because of his sexual orientation.

According to an affidavit, Johnson used social media to invite the man to his home in September 2013, beat him and threw him into his car trunk. The man was hospitalized for 10 days with multiple skull and facial fractures.

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(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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