More than a year after former Empire Star, Jussie Smollett, allegedly orchestrated a fake homophobic and racist hate crime against himself, the 37-year-old actor was indicted by a grand jury Tuesday on 6 counts of disorderly conduct for lying to police on multiple occasions.
Special prosecutor Dan Webb filed the charges on February 11th. His first court date is set for February 24th. Fox 32 reported “Webb said in a statement that Smollett faces six felony counts of disorderly conduct, charges that stem from four separate false reports that he gave to police in which he contended he was a victim of a hate crime ‘knowing that he was not the victim of a crime.’”
Depending on sentencing, these charges can carry up to a cumulative punishment of 18 years in prison, though actual sentencing, if convicted, will likely be much less.
This time last year, Chicago prosecutors decided, without explanation, to drop the case entirely after devoting $130,106.15 in resources investigating the alleged hate crime against the television star. Webb made clear in his statement that there was insufficient evidence for dropping the case against Smollett.
Webb concluded “that further prosecution of Jussie Smollett is ‘in the interest of justice.’” He added, “several factors went into this determination, including the extensive nature of Mr. Smollett’s false police reports, and the resources expended by the Chicago Police Department to investigate these false reports.”
Smollett’s attorney, Tina Glandian, released the following statement regarding the indictment:
“This indictment raises serious questions about the integrity of the investigation that led to the renewed charges against Mr. Smollett, not the least of which is the use of the same CPD detectives who were part of the original investigation into the attack on Mr. Smollett to conduct the current investigation, despite Mr. Smollett’s pending civil claims against the City of Chicago and CPD officers for malicious prosecution. One of the two witnesses who testified before the grand jury is the very same detective Mr. Smollett is currently suing for his role in the initial prosecution of him. After more than five months of investigation, the Office of the Special Prosecutor has not found any evidence of wrongdoing whatsoever related to the dismissal of the charges against Mr. Smollett. Rather, the charges were appropriately dismissed the first time because they were not supported by the evidence. The attempt to re-prosecute Mr. Smollett one year later on the eve of the Cook County State’s Attorney election is clearly all about politics not justice.”
In January of 2019, Smollett told police he was assaulted by two white men in MAGA hats in the middle of zero-degree weather at 2:00 AM in a Chicago alleyway while walking home from Subway. The attackers, according to Smollett, shouted “this is MAGA country,” after recognizing him as the ‘gay man on Empire.’ A show every homophobic racist watches enough to recognize the actors off on the street. The attackers then poured bleach on Smollett and wrapped a clothing line nose around his neck before fleeing.
Smollett, who still bravely held onto his Subway sandwich, fled home, and called the police two hours after the initial attack. When police arrived at his apartment, Smollett was still wearing the nose around his neck.
After police discovered the attackers were not only black, but Smollett’s personal trainers who had received a handwritten check from the actor days prior, 16 counts were filed against Smollett. However, the case was abruptly dropped in March of 2019.
The case was the highest-profile hate crime in recent memory, but when the truth came out, everyone from political candidates to media icons dropped the story.
Categories: U.S. News