Jussie Smollett

Jussie Smollett Found Guilty of Reporting False Hate Crime

A verdict has been reached in the Jussie Smollett trial.

On Thursday (Dec. 9), a Chicago jury found the former “Empire” actor guilty on five counts of felony disorderly conduct for filing a false police report claiming he was the victim of a hate crime on Jan. 29, 2019.

Smollett was also acquitted on one count of felony disorderly conduct. The 12-person jury deliberated for more than nine hours before reaching a verdict.

Smollett alleged he was attacked by two men, who physically assaulted him and used racist and homophobic slurs, poured chemicals on him, and placed a rope around his neck while wearing MAGA hats in support of Donald Trump.

In his testimony, Smollett said that he never lied to police and denied orchestrating the attack on himself.

Smollett received widespread support in the wake of the initial report. But things took a turn after a Chicago police investigation found the actor’s story to be a hoax and detained two Nigerian brothers, Abimbola and Olabingo Osundairo, in connection with the alleged crime.

Prosecutors argued that Smollett made false reports to police after paying the brothers to carry out the staged attack against him in order to garner sympathetic media coverage.

Smollett faces up to three years in prison for the class 4 felonies and a $25,000 fine. He has a clean criminal record, so it is unlikely that he will serve any time behind bars.