An Idaho man pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Seattle to hate crime and false statement charges related to the racially-motivated assault of a Black DJ at the Rec Room Bar & Grill in unincorporated Lynnwood in December 2018.
Three other white supremacists earlier pled guilty for their roles in this assault.
Jason Stanley, 46, pleaded guilty to committing a hate crime for his participation in the assault of T.S., a Black man, which occurred because of the man’s actual and perceived race.
“The defendant, a known white supremacist, singled out and attacked a Black man because of his race. Violent, hate-driven conduct that has no place in our society today,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The convictions that we have secured in this case make clear that the Department of Justice will continue to use every resource at its disposal to fight white supremacist violence.”
“The defendants in this case came to Washington state to commemorate their hateful embrace of white supremacy,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Brown for the Western District of Washington. “But they did not find the welcoming environment they expected. The victim in this case, and those who defended him from the assault, demonstrated one of our core values in Western Washington: hate has no place here. We will continue our work to prosecute those who engage in hate and bias crimes, and to ensure the civil rights of all members of our community. This work is one of the top priorities for the Justice Department, my office, and our law enforcement partners.”
In his plea agreement, Stanley admitted that, at the time of the assault, he was a member of a white supremacist group. On Dec. 8, 2018, Stanley entered the Rec Room Bar and Grill with others, including members of two related white supremacist groups. Stanley wore clothing and patches indicating his group membership and repeatedly gave “Nazi salutes” inside the bar. While at the bar, Stanley and others assaulted T.S, a Black man who was serving as the disc jockey at the bar.
Stanley believed that T.S. was being disrespectful to the members of the white supremacist groups after T.S. objected to group members manipulating his DJ equipment without his permission. Stanley and others punched, kicked, and stomped on T.S., and called T.S. racial slurs. As a result of the assault, T.S. suffered bodily injuries. Two bystanders attempted to intervene to help T.S. and stop the assault. Both bystanders were assaulted by members of the white supremacist groups, and both sustained injuries.
In addition to the hate crime charge, Stanley pleaded guilty to making false statements to FBI agents about the circumstances surrounding the assault. Specifically, Stanley falsely claimed to the agents that he was not even present in the state of Washington during the weekend of the assault. This statement was false, in that Stanley knew he had traveled to Washington to attend a gathering of white supremacists, and while he was there, he participated in the assault of T.S. at the Lynwood bar. Stanley made this false statement to the FBI because he wanted to cover up his involvement in the assault of T.S.
Stanley is scheduled for sentencing on Jan. 6, 2023. The hate crime charge carries a maximum penalty of ten years in prison. The false statement charge carries a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison.
Stanley was charged in an indictment that was unsealed on Dec. 18, 2020. The seven-count indictment also charged three other men, each aiding and abetting one another, with punching and kicking T.S. while making derogatory comments about his actual and perceived race. The indictment further charged Stanley and the three other men with assaulting two men who intervened to protect T.S. during the attack, as well as with making false statements to the FBI during the course of their investigation. The three other men charged in this case, Jason DeSimas, Randy Smith, and Daniel Dorson, have each pleaded guilty in this matter.