The Justice Department announced today that Lee Mouat, 42, has been charged by criminal complaint in federal district court with violating 18 U.S.C. § 249 by willfully causing bodily injury to an African-American teenager because of the teenager’s race.
According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Mouat confronted a group of African-American teenagers, including the victim, 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. Mouat then struck one of the teens in the face with a bike lock, knocking out several of the victim’s teeth and fracturing his jaw.
The charge in the complaint is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law. If convicted, Mouat faces a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
This case is being investigated by the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Frances Carlson of the Eastern District of Michigan and Trial Attorney Tara Allison of the Civil Rights Division are prosecuting the case.