Grand jury indicts actor Jussie Smollett on 16 felony counts

Grand jury indicts actor Jussie Smollett on 16 felony counts

Grand jury indicts actor Jussie Smollett on 16 felony counts

Smollett, who claimed he was the subject of a racist and homophobic attack at the hands of two men on January 29 in Chicago, told investigators that he was attacked by two masked men "yelling out racial and homophobic slurs".

CWBChicago reports that the grand jury's 16-count true bill stated that Smollett lied to two police officers about the incident.

In February, Smollett was charged with felony disorderly conduct.

Smollett had previously been charged with a single count of filing a false police report, which carries the possibility of up to three years in prison.

Smollett's attorney, Mark Geragos called the 16-count indictment "prosecutorial overkill".

Chicago Police Department confirmed on Thursday (March 7) that the department was looking into leaks related to the case.

Officials said they were released without charge after providing information that "shifted the trajectory of the investigation".

A former state appellate judge suggested such a strategy might be employed by prosecutors trying to protect themselves from the possibility that a jury or a judge might believe some, but not all, of the allegations.


The counts in the indictment obtained by CNN say Smollett gave statements to a Chicago police officer after the incident and to a detective. "There were going to charge him for each". While Smollet has maintained that he is telling the truth, authorities are clearly stepping up their pressure on him, and ultimately he could be sent to prison. These attackers also allegedly tied rope around the out actor's neck and poured bleach on him. He also claimed that one of the attackers' skin was white.

In January, the actor claimed to be attacked by two men who yelled pro-President Trump remarks, along with racist language.

Neither Smollett's attorney nor his spokeswoman could immediately be reached for comment on the latest charges. However, most defendants in Smollett's situation are sentenced to probation. "That's just how it is".

Now his legal problems have doubled with the indictments.

The FBI, which is investigating that letter, has declined to comment on the investigation.

"Lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation is a crime", said Erickson.

He added that the indictment is a attempt to make headlines and accused law enforcement of "robbing" Jussie of his presumed innocence.

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