Jussie Smollett Indicted On 16 Counts Of Disorderly Conduct For Filing False Police Report
Empire actor Jussie Smollett faces 16 counts of disorderly conduct for filing a false police report, according to ABC 7 Chicago.
A Cook County grand jury handed down the indictment on Thursday after reviewing information pertaining to Smollett’s claim that he was the victim of a racial, homophobic attack on January 29. Smollett said he was physically attacked by two men who yelled degrading remarks and also left a noose around his neck.
“The new set of charges each carry a possible sentence of probation to four years,” ABC 7 Chicago reports. Experts believe the actor the will take a plea deal and not serve any jail time.
The grand jury’s indictment is split into two separate sets of charges, the first pertaining to what Smollett initially told officers about the attack, while the second set are related to a second interview Smollett gave police later in the day on the 29th.
The actor was originally charged with one felony count of disorderly conduct for filing a false police report by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office on Feb. 20, according to the outlet.
Smollett’s case gained more widespread attention after two of the actor’s acquaintances, Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, were arrested in connection with the attack. The brothers told authorities they were paid by the actor to participate in staging the attack. The actor was later arrested, but released on $100,000 bail.
Smollett has repeatedly denied those claims and also pleaded not guilty to the first charge of disorderly conduct after his arrest.
The Chicago Police Department faces an internal investigation of their own after salacious details of Smollett’s case continued to leak during the investigation. The new probe led by the department’s Chief of Detectives, will look into the “inaccurate” information that was fed to the media, TMZ reports, information that heavily weighed the jury of public opinion.
“When there are allegations of information being leaked, an internal investigation has been opened and we are also looking at our vulnerabilities,” a police spokesperson told the outlet.