An Ohio man accused by federal prosecutors of “slaughtering” women and killing thousands in a mass shooting pleaded guilty to attempted hate crime, authorities said Tuesday.
Tres Genco, 22, admitted to targeting women at an Ohio university in 2020, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio said in a press release.
He risks a possible prison sentence of up to life.
According to the prosecutor’s office, Genco identified as an “involuntary celibate,” or incel, a group of men who harbor hostility toward women because they “deny them the sexual or romantic attention they think they are entitled to.”
When Genco was indicted last year, he was also charged with unlawful possession of a machine gun. As part of his plea, Genco admitted possession of two firearms, including the modified Glock-style 9mm semi-automatic pistol described in the indictment as a machine gun, the prosecutor’s office said.
Neither the prosecutor’s office nor Genco’s lawyer immediately responded to requests for comment on Tuesday evening.
According to an indictment in the case, Genco expressed condolences on an incel website in 2019 for a gunman who killed six people and injured 14 on a California college campus. He also bought tactical gloves, a bulletproof vest, a bowie knife, a rifle and ammunition, the indictment said.
Investigators found a note from the summer of 2019 that listed a university and stated that the “KC” — understood as a reference to the death toll — must be “huge! 3,000? Aim big then,” the indictment said. The university is not named in the indictment.
The note added that according to the indictment, Genco planned to receive “weapons training in BCT” or basic combat training in Georgia.
On August 3, 2019, Genco drafted a document describing himself as a “socially exiled Incel” and saying that he intended to “take away the power of life that they withhold from me,” the document said.
“I will slaughter out of hatred, jealousy and revenge,” he wrote in the indictment.
On the same day, Genco searched online for a college and sororities in Ohio, the indictment said.
Genco left Ohio that month for Georgia, where he received basic training until December, according to the charges. On January 15, after returning to Ohio, he supervised a university and searched the Internet to determine, “When does crime preparation become an attempt.”
Authorities searched his car on March 12, 2020 and found body armor, a rifle with a butt stock, loaded magazines and ammunition, the indictment said.
In a heating vent in Genco’s home, authorities found what the indictment describes as a “machine gun” — a Glock semi-automatic pistol with no serial number or identifying information, the document said.
He was arrested in July 2021, the prosecutor’s office said.
In a lawsuit, a Genco lawyer had challenged the claim that he had a machine gun, saying the weapon was not automatic “because of the law.”
In a separate filing, the attorney accused the prosecutors of presenting a “long string of incidents, including acts such as entering the military and traveling to basic training, online searches on the Internet, and writings in private magazines. What is missing from the indictment is any direct allegation that Mr. Genco actually attempted to inflict bodily harm on anyone.”
A sentencing date has not been set.