Jussie Smollett Indicted on 16 Felony Charges for Filing False Police Report
- Author: Jacqueline Ellis Mar 10, 2019,
Mar 10, 2019, 0:43
Disgraced former "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett has been indicted by grand jury on 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for lying to police and filing a fake police report about the "hate crime" he staged against himself.
The panel returned the charges on Thursday.
The next set of charges are linked to a second police interview Smollett had about the alleged attack.
The charges would run concurrently, so the sentencing range would still be one to three years in prison.
Last month Smollett was arrested and charged on a felony charge of disorderly conduct after CPD claimed he hired two acquaintances - brothers Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo - to help him stage the assault. Smollett turned himself in on February 21 and was released hours later after posting $10,000 bond.
According to initial reports of the incident, two men attacked Smollett while yelling racial and homophobic slurs. The grand jury also reportedly accused Smollett of falsifying a crime.
The Empire actor became the subject of a national dialogue after he reported a brutal attack on the street to the Chicago Police Department back in January. Smollet claimed he was assaulted by two masked men who hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him and shouted "This is MAGA Country" after assaulting him.
Smollett is set to be arraigned March 14, CBS 2 reports. "They do harm to every legitimate victim who's in need of support by police and investigators". The attack followed just weeks after Smollett says he received a life-threatening letter.
Smollett's attorney, Mark Geragos, blasted the indictment in a statement as "redundant and vindictive", adding that his client "adamantly maintains his innocence even if law enforcement has robbed him of that presumption".
It says that Smollett knew at the time he relayed his account that he had "no reasonable ground that such an offence had been committed". Executive producers said in a statement issued the next day that Smollett's character would be removed from the current season's final two episodes.