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Monroe County man charged with federal hate crime against Black teen

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Posted at 4:32 PM, Oct 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-15 15:39:27-04

(WXYZ) — Lee Mouat, 42, of Monroe County, has been charged with a federal hate crime in connection to the assault of a Black teen in June.

“The allegations in this case, which essentially amount to violent and blatant racism, are deeply offensive to the values we hold in Michigan,” said United States Attorney Matthew Schneider. “We will prosecute this case with strength and vigor, and we will do everything we can to seek justice for the innocent victim of this racist hate crime.”

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Mouat is charged with willfully causing bodily injury to an African American teenager because of race. If convicted, Mouat could get up to 10 years in prison.

Mouat allegedly confronted a group of African-American teenagers, including the victim, 18-year-old Devin Freelon, at a state park in Monroe, Michigan. Mouat repeatedly used racial slurs and said that African Americans had no right to use the public beach where the incident occurred, the criminal complaint alleges. Mouat then hit Freelon in the face with a bike lock, knocking out several of his teeth and fracturing his jaw.