Jussie Smollett Indicted On 16 Felony Counts By Grand Jury

Posted March 10, 2019

Smollett was charged last month with a single felony count of disorderly conduct/filing a false report based on allegations brought by the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.

Geragos said in a statement he did not expect a Cook County grand jury would charge Smollet with 16 separate counts.He said the indictment is "prosecutorial overkill".

According to previous police recitations of Smollett's story, he reported that two masked men approached him on the street in the early hours of January 29 shouting racial and homophobic slurs, struck him in the face, doused him with an "unknown chemical substance" and wrapped a rope around his neck before they fled.

Each one of the charges carries a maximum count of four years in prison, meaning he could face 64 years in total.

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Smollett was released on $100,000 bail, and his attorneys have previously denied that he played a role in the attack.

Police also have said Smollett, who had told police he was on the phone with his manager at the time of the attack, refused to turn over his phone records to the investigators.

The next set of charges are linked to a second police interview Smollett had about the alleged attack.

Smollet also provided false information to Los Angeles law enforcement authorities in 2007, and police in Chicago have requested details regarding the case after Smollett was accused of faking a self-inflicted hate-crime upon himself.

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Smollett continues to maintain his innocence.

Recently, rap star Drake's dad Dennis Graham spoke up for Smollett amid his publicized attack and rumors suggesting he might have staged it.

"Jussie has been an important member of our "Empire" family for the past five years and we care about him deeply". After slamming Smollett in February, he said, "Let me tell, you, Robin, there's a lot more evidence that hasn't been presented yet, and does not support the version he gave". The studio that produces the series declined to comment on Smollett's indictment.

The brothers say he paid them $3500 to do it and that he promised them an additional $500 which they would get when they came home from a trip to Nigeria. The two men police say Smollett hired to take part in the attack are both black.

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Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said the actor initially faked a letter using racist and homophobic language.