Newport Man Jailed on Ethnic Intimidation and Assault Charges

Original Case Details

Lee James Mouat Jr., a resident of the city of Newport in Monroe County, MI is accused of ethnic intimidation and assault charges for allegedly striking a black male in the face with a bicycle chain along with hurling a racial slur at the man. Mouat Jr. is 42 years old and the alleged victim is 18 years old. The attack is being viewed as racially motivated and as such, Mouat Jr. remains in custody pending his next court date. His bond is currently set at $100,000 cash or surety. It is alleged that two groups of people were swimming in the water at the beach at Sterling State Park. One group of people was all white, while the other group was all black. While the groups were leaving the water, they began to exchange insults. As the intensity grew in this situation, Mouat Jr. is alleged to have gone to his car and grabbed a bike lock. He then approached the victim, called him the “N” word, and hit him in the face with the lock. Once that happened, an all-out fight occurred between multiple people. The victim sustained serious injuries that were luckily not life threatening.

Criminal Charges Involved

Mouat Jr. was later charged assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, felonious assault, and the hate crime of ethnic intimidation.

• Assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder is a felony charge that carries up to 10 years in prison, along with a fine of up to $5,000.
• Felonious Assault is a felony charge that carries up to 4 years in prison, along with fines of up to $2,000.
• Ethnic intimidation is a felony charge that carries up to 2 years in prison, along with fines of up to $5,000.

It is important to note that while these charges technically add up to a total of 16 years in prison, convictions against Mouat Jr. can only result in a maximum of 10 years as the punishment for these charges would run concurrently.

What’s Next?

The next step in this case will be the preliminary examination. At a preliminary exam, the prosecutor is required to show probable cause that a crime was committed and that the crime was committed by Mouat Jr. against the victim in this case. These hearings somewhat resemble trials as witnesses are called and they are sworn to testify under oath in court in front of a District Court judge. The main difference between a preliminary exam and a trial is the burden of proof, a prosecutor only has to prove probable cause in order to continue the case forward to circuit for a possible eventual trial. Also, there are no jurors at a preliminary exam, and there is no finding of guilt at this hearing. If the prosecutor is unable to show probable cause that a crime was committed and that the defendant (in this case Mouat Jr.) committed the crime, then the case can be dismissed altogether by the judge hearing the case. It is not required that this hearing actually take place. If both the prosecutor and defense agree to waive the preliminary exam, then they are agreeing that probable cause exists, and they are allowing the case to be bound over to circuit court for further proceedings and a possible eventual trial. There are different tactical advantages to each approach which are driven by the circumstances of the case.

Any Further Questions?

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime or are being investigated for one, then it is important to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. At Grabel & Associates, our attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience in successfully defending criminal cases all over the state of Michigan. This experience extends not only to adult cases, but also to juvenile charges. We are not a general practice firm. We are a team of criminal defense attorneys; it’s all we do. We offer a FREE consultation to anyone with questions relating to a possible or existing criminal charge against them or a loved one. Feel free to contact us on our 24/7 defense line at 1-800-342-7896. You can also contact us online or come visit us at one of our three statewide locations. We can also come to you.

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