Michigan Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Hate Crime for Attacking Black Teenager
A Michigan man pleaded guilty today to a federal hate crime for attacking a Black teenager.
Lee Mouat, 43, of Newport, willfully caused bodily injury to a Black teenager because of the teenager’s race.
According to the plea agreement, Mouat confronted a group of Black teenagers, including the victim, at a state park in Monroe. 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, lacerating his face and mouth, and fracturing his jaw. Mouat also attempted to strike another Black teenager with the bike lock.
“Hate-fueled incidents like this one have no place in a civilized society,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Pamela Karlan for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department is committed to using all the tools in our law enforcement arsenal to prosecute violent acts motivated by hate.”
“Our office is committed to protecting the rights of all citizens, and prosecuting hate crimes is a top priority,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Saima Mohsin for the Eastern District of Michigan. “The young victim in this case suffered tremendously from this vicious, racially motivated assault. Every individual citizen has the right to not live in fear of violence or attack based on the color of their skin.”
“Mouat’s hateful and violent conduct, motivated by racial intolerance, was intended to physically harm the victim as well as create fear within the African-American community,” said Special Agent in Charge Timothy Waters of the FBI’s Detroit Division. “The FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue to ensure that if a crime is motivated by bias, it will be investigated as a hate crime and the perpetrators will be held responsible for their actions. We encourage anyone who has been the victim of or witness to such a crime to report it to the FBI.”
Mouat will be sentenced at a hearing scheduled for June 24, 2021. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.
This case was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Frances Carlson of the Eastern District of Michigan and Trial Attorney Tara Allison of the Civil Rights Division.