Lee Maout, a 43-year-old suspected white supremacist who confessed to brutally striking a Black teen in the mouth with a bicycle lock, was sentenced to five years in prison and three years of supervised release on Thursday for the vile hate crime according to a release from the Department of Justice.
Maout’s sentencing is the result of a plea deal his attorney’s sorted out with the DOJ which guaranteed a five-year sentence instead of the maximum of 10 years if he confessed to the crime. Maout plead guilty to the crime earlier this spring stemming from a hate-fueled incident that took place last summer at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“The defendant brutally attacked teenagers at a public beach because these young people are Black,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Hate-fueled violent crimes like this have no place in our communities. Protecting Americans from hate crimes is a top priority of the Justice Department and we will use every tool available to bring perpetrators to justice.”
“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 cowardly and unprovoked attack on this young victim is terribly disturbing. Every individual citizen has the right to not live in fear of violence or attack based on the color of their skin.”
Maout’s physical harm was directed towards an 18-year-old Black teenager named Devin Freelon Jr. who sustained a broken jaw, missing teeth, and multiple lacerations after the attack. At the time of the incident, Maout also attempted to attack another teenager who was with Freelon that day.
As NewsOne previously reported, On June 6, 2020, Maout was leaving Lake Erie Sterling State Park in Michigan when he drunkenly stumbled upon Freelon and his friends in the parking lot.
According to eyewitnesses, Maout began hurling racial slurs at the group, challenging the group to a physical altercation.
Maout reportedly told the group that “n*****s” didn’t belong at the beach and “Black lives don’t matter.” When one of Freelon’s friends asked Maout to refrain from yelling hateful slurs and to leave them alone Maout grew incensed.
He reportedly apologized to the group, walked in the direction of his car where he retrieved a bike lock. When he came back to the group he told the teens “I’ve got something for you,” and struck Freelon in his face, even repeatedly stomping him in the face after he fell to the ground.
He attempted to also attack another teen who tried to stop the physical harm done to Freelon. Police arrived after a bystander and Maout’s daughter called for assistance.
Freelon was knocked unconscious and was rushed to the hospital to treat his injuries. After healing a local dentist offered to do free dental surgery estimated at around $15,000 so that he could enjoy his high school graduation which took place five days after he was attacked.