Michigan man pleads guilty to federal hate crime for attacking Black teen

Suspect faces 10 years in prison, 3 years of supervised release and fine of up to $250K

Lee James Mouat Jr., 44, of Newport, Michigan was charged on June 8, 2020 for assaulting an 18-year-old Black man in Monroe County. (WDIV)

MONROE, Mich. – A Michigan man pleaded guilty Tuesday to a federal hate crime for attacking a Black teenager.

Lee Mouat, 43, of Newport willfully caused bodily injury to the victim because of the teen’s race, the Department of Justice says.

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.

The suspect 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.”

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.

About the Author:

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.