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Michigan man pleads guilty to hate crime

Posted at 6:21 PM, Mar 30, 2021

Today a Michigan man pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime for attacking a Black teenager the Department of Justice reports.

According to the plea agreement, Lee Mouat, 43, of Newport, confronted a group of Black teenagers hurling racial slurs. The department of Justice also reports that Mouat said that Black people had no right to use the public beach.

Mouat hit 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 tried to hit unsuccessfully hit another Black teenager with the bike lock.

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“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.”

Mouats hearing is scheduled for June 24, 2021 and faces a 10-year maximum penalty, three years in prison, and three years of supervised release with a fine of $250,000.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Frances Carlson and Trial Attorney Tara Allison of the Civil Rights Division. The investigation was conducted by the FBI.

The 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.