Michigan Man Indicted for Hate Crimes After Attacking African-American Teenagers
WASHINGTON – The Justice Department announced today that Lee Mouat, 42, has been indicted for federal hate crimes. Mouat is charged with two counts of violating 18 U.S.C. § 249 by willfully causing bodily injury to a Black teenager and attempting to cause bodily injury to another Black teenager, through the use of a dangerous weapon, because of the teenagers’ race. Mouat was previously charged with the former count by criminal complaint in federal district court on Oct. 13, 2020.
According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Mouat confronted a group of Black teenagers, including the victim, at a state park in Monroe, Michigan. Mouat repeatedly used racial slurs and said that Black people had no right to use the public beach where the incident occurred. Mouat then struck one of the teens in the face with a bike lock, knocking out several of the victim’s teeth and fracturing his jaw. According to the indictment, Mouat attempted to strike another teen with the bike lock.
An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law. If convicted, Mouat faces a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for each count.
This case is being investigated by the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Frances Carlson of the Eastern District of Michigan and Trial Attorney Tara Allison of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division are prosecuting the case.
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