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Monroe County man appears in court after alleged ‘racially motivated’ attack on teenager

Lee Mouat accused of attacking Devin Freelon

MONROE, Mich. – A White man accused of attacking a Black teenager was formally charged Tuesday in what officials are calling a “racially motivated” crime in Monroe County.

Lee James Mouat Jr., 42, of Newport, is charged with ethnic intimidation, assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder and assault with a dangerous weapon after he attacked Devin Freelon, 18, Saturday evening at Sterling State Park in Monroe, according to authorities.

Freelon is a senior at Orchard Center High School, officials said.

Police said Mouat verbally attacked Freelon and his friends, using racial slurs. He then struck Freelon in the face with a weapon, according to officials.

Lee James Mouat Jr.
Lee James Mouat Jr. (WDIV)

Family members said Freelon has a broken jaw, lost several teeth and has other injuries to his face. Click here to visit the fundraiser for Freelon.

Mouat was arraigned Tuesday morning via Zoom video conference. He told the judge he has a fiance and four children. He was ruled indigent and given court-appointed counsel.

Mouat is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail and must wear a GPS tether if released. He’s not allowed to have weapons, alcohol, drugs or any contact with Freelon if he posts bail. He also cannot leave the state without court permission, the judge said.

Judge Jack Vitale has been assigned to the case. A probable cause conference is scheduled for 10 a.m. June 16, and a preliminary examination is scheduled for 10 a.m. June 23.

Demonstrators gathered Monday at St. Mary’s Park in Monroe in solidarity with Freelon. His friends and family members are calling the attack a hate crime.


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