Man receives five-year prison sentence in Sterling State Park hate crime
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The Michigan man accused of hitting a teenager with a bike lock and metal chain at Sterling State Park in June 2020 was sentenced in Federal Court.
Lee Mouat was sentenced to five years in prison after agreeing to plead guilty to a hate crime. The rest of the charges against Mouat were dismissed.
Mouat was convicted of the hate crime because he willfully caused bodily harm to the teenager while acting because of the victim’s race, according to the plea agreement.
In the plea agreement, Mouat admitted he approached three Black teenagers at the park on June 6, 2020, yelling that “Black lives don’t matter,” commenting on the teenagers “ghetto” music, saying Black people don’t belong at the beach, and using a racial epithet against the teenagers.
The plea agreement said Mouat then walked to his car and retrieved the bike lock and chain. He returned and swung the lock at the victim, 18-year-old Devin Freelon, striking him in the face and knocking out three teeth and fracturing his jaw while causing lacerations to his mouth and face. Mouat also swung the bike lock at a second Black teenager but missed. Mouat continued to wield the bike lock and walked towards Freelon, again using a racial slur.
“Mouat took the above actions because of D.F.’s and T.G.’s race — that is, Mouat willfully caused bodily injury to D.F., and attempted to cause bodily injury to T.G., because they are Black,” the plea agreement said.
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