Jussie Smollett Indicted on 16 Felony Counts
An Illinois grand jury has indicted Jussie Smollett on 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for filing a false police report.
The grand jury returned two separate sets of charges on Thursday, according to ABC News. The first set is related to what Smollett told police about the alleged attack, including that the attackers yelled racial and homophobic slurs, physically assaulted him, put a rope around his neck, and poured a chemical substance on him.
The second set of charges is related to the second interview Smollett did with cops about the alleged attack later that day.
Smollett told police he was attacked by two men near his Chicago apartment on Jan. 29. The alleged assailants yelled “This is MAGA country” during the incident.
Police identified and questioned two “persons of interest,” Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, who were arrested and released without charges. The brothers told grand jurors that Smollett hired them to stage the crime. They were captured on surveillance camera buying supplies including ski masks, gloves, bandanas, sunglasses, and red hats prior to the attack.
The brothers claimed that Smollett paid them $3,500 to help stage the “hate crime” after he became upset that a letter threatening him did not get enough attention.
The new set of charges each carry a sentence of probation to four years in jail. The “Empire” star has denied staging the attack and pleaded not guilty to the first disorderly conduct charge. He was taken into custody and released after posting 10 percent of his $100,000 bond.