Following a four-day trial in front of Judge Peter J. Maceroni, a Macomb County jury convicted 26-year-old Nhia Lee of harassing and intimidating a beauty pageant queen, Mai Hlee Xiong. After three hours of deliberating, the conviction was announced on Friday at 2pm at the Macomb County Circuit Court in Mount Clemens, Michigan. Nhia Lee was found guilty of “unlawful posting of a message,” a cyber stalking law that carries a maximum penalty of two years of incarceration and up to $5,000 in fines.
“Mr. Lee and his attorney used the pageant and traditional Hmong cultural values as the basis for justifying Mr. Lee’s actions. However, no one in this world regardless of his or her background and status deserves to be the victim of any crime.
My pageant background plays only a minor role in my entire life. Though I am thankful and worked hard to earn my pageant titles, I consider many other accomplishments to be of greater value and importance than a Hmong pageant. He set out to strip me of my crown and instead he stripped me of my entire life as a human being and an American citizen. He violate every aspect of my life publicly, privately and professionally. Mr. Lee set out to use the most modern and sophisticated forms of technology to justify ancient cultural values and moral obligations.
Though I could not prove it at first, I have known in my heart for a long time that Mr. Lee intentionally lied to me and was guilty of the crime he committed. I am thankful to know that the cyber stalking law and the legal system was enacted to protect citizens like me.
My family and I are very much overjoyed and thankful that Mr. Lee will be held accountable for the crime that he committed against me. At the same time, I am also very saddened that the Hmong community had to suffer as a direct result of Mr. Lee’s criminal acts. I hope that this terrible incident will allow our people to grow stronger and change for the better.” – Mai Hlee Xiong