MIDLAND, Texas (AP) -- Federal prosecutors say a Texas man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for attacking an Asian family because he thought they were Chinese and therefore responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Court records show 21-year-old Jose Gomez III of Midland, Texas, was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty to three counts of committing a hate crime.

Gomez admitted that he used a knife to slash the man and his 6- and 2-year-old sons inside a Sam's Club in Midland because he believed they were Chinese and spreading the coronavirus.

The man is from Myanmar.

The March 2020 attack occurred as Asians faced verbal harassment and physical assaults across the United States after the virus began to spread nationwide.