The second of four defendants pleaded guilty Friday in U.S. District Court in Seattle to a federal hate crime and making false statements in connection with the racially-motivated assault of a Black DJ at the Rec Room Bar & Grill in unincorporated Lynnwood in December 2018.
Jason DeSimas, 45, of Tacoma, is one of four Pacific Northwest men being prosecuted for punching and kicking the man and making derogatory comments about his actual and perceived race at the bar, located in the 14900 block of Highway 99.
According to the plea agreement, DeSimas was a prospective member of a white supremacist group that was traveling in the Seattle area to celebrate a known white supremacist, killed in a standoff with police in the 1980s. According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle, DeSimas had discussed using “mutual combat” against members of groups he opposed such as Antifa and Black Lives Matter. DeSimas believed that he and his group could go into bars and initiate fights, so that the rest of the members of the group could join in, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
At 12:40 a.m. Dec. 8, 2018, the men went to the Rec Room and assaulted the victim, who was working as a DJ. The group also assaulted two other men who came to the DJ’s aid. The attackers shouted racial slurs and made Nazi salutes both before and during the assault.
In addition to the hate crime, DeSimas admitted making false statements to the FBI during the investigation of the case. He falsely claimed that neither he nor anyone else used a racial slur during the assault. In fact, DeSimas now admits that he repeatedly used a racial slur before, during and after the assault.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, both sides will recommend a 37-month prison term; however, U.S. District Judge Richard Jones is not bound by the recommendation. The ultimate sentence will be determined by Judge Jones after considering U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Daniel Delbert Dorson, 24 of Corvallis, Oregon, has pleaded guilty in the case and is scheduled for sentencing Aug. 19, 2022. Jason Stanley, 44, of Boise, Idaho and Randy Smith, 39, of Eugene, Oregon, are also charged in the case and are in custody awaiting trial.
The hate crime charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The false statements charge carries a maximum penalty of five years.