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4 men indicted in racially motivated assault of Black man

December 19, 2020 GMT

SEATTLE (AP) — A federal grand jury indicted four men from Idaho, Oregon and Washington state, accusing them of hate crimes and making false statements in the assault of a Black man at a suburban Seattle bar, authorities said Friday.

An investigation by the FBI and the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office of the incident two years ago at The Rec Room Bar & Grill in Lynnwood prompted the indictment.

Several men tried to take over a Black disc jockey’s audio equipment and beat him when he protested, The Seattle Times reported.

The indictment announced by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle names Jason Desimas of Tacoma, Washington; Jason Stanley of Boise, Idaho; Randy Smith of Eugene, Oregon; and Daniel Delbert Dorson of Corvallis, Oregon. It could not be immediately determined if the men had attorneys to comment on their behalf.

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The indictment charges each man with three counts of committing a federal hate crime and one count of making false statements to FBI agents. It also charges the defendants with assaulting two other men.

The indictment accuses the defendants of making “racially derogatory comments” while assaulting the disc jockey, who is not named in the indictment. The men willfully caused bodily injury to the disc jockey because of his “actual and perceived race,” the indictment says.

The false statement counts allege that Desimas denied to the FBI that he and others used racist language during the assault.

Dorson is accused of lying about attending a “Martyr’s Day” celebration before the incident and said “he had not owned a jacket associated with white supremacy hate groups,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. “Martyr’s Day” commemorates the 1984 death of white supremacist Robert J. Matthews on Whidbey Island, near Lynnwood.

The indictment also claims Stanley lied about being present at the bar and that Smith lied about how he had bloodied his knuckles.

Smith is in custody in Oregon and Stanley is in custody in Idaho on unrelated charges and will be brought to the Western District of Washington for arraignment, the Justice Department said. Dorson was scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Eugene on Friday. Desimas was not in custody as of Friday afternoon, according to DOJ spokeswoman Emily Langlie.