Jussie Smollett, convicted of lying to police

(CNN) – Jussie Smollett was convicted of five counts of felony disorderly conduct by a Chicago jury for making false reports to police that he was the victim of a hate crime in January 2019. Smollett was also acquitted of one charge. of serious crime of alteration of the public order.

Jussie Smollett took the stand and testified before the jury that he never lied to the police and denied that he orchestrated the attack on himself.

The jury of six men and six women deliberated for more than nine hours on Wednesday and Thursday.

Prosecutors tried to prove that the “Empire” ex-actor made false reports to the police after paying Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo to carry out an organized hate crime attack against him in order to gain comprehensive media coverage.

A disorderly conduct charge for a false crime report is a class 4 felony and is punishable by up to 3 years in prison and a $ 25,000 fine. Cook County Judge James Linn has the power to impose a simultaneous or consecutive sentence for each count at a later date.

On January 29, 2019, Smollett, who is black and gay, told authorities that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack near his Chicago apartment early that morning.

After the story broke, many celebrities, politicians and advocacy groups rallied behind the 39-year-old actor, who, according to police, said the alleged attackers attacked him at 2 a.m. as he was returning from a sandwich shop in Subway.

Chicago police investigated the case as a possible hate crime, but soon said the actor orchestrated the incident. They said he paid two brothers he knew from the “Empire” television show to act out the incident for publicity purposes. Smollett said he paid the brothers for workout tips and nutritional advice.

Brothers Bola and Ola Osundairo are among the seven prosecution witnesses. The brothers testified that Smollett led and paid them to stage the attack in an attempt to get media attention. They said they gave him fake punches, bleached him, put a rope around his neck and used racist and homophobic slurs, because he told them to do it.

“Who was in charge of this?” asked special counsel Dan Webb.

“Jussie was,” Bola Osundairo told the jury.

Defense attorneys also called seven witnesses, singled out by Smollett himself, to testify. For eight hours on Monday and Tuesday, he presented his version of the incident, tried to question the true motivations of the brothers and explained his distrust of the police.

“Have you ever planned a charade?” asked one of his lawyers.

“Never in my life,” Smollett said.

Smollett was initially charged in March 2019 with 16 counts of disorderly conduct. But Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx’s office suddenly dropped all charges weeks later, said he did community service, lost his $ 10,000 bond and was not a danger to the community. He also had no prior felony convictions.

Smollett’s character was scrapped from “Empire,” which ended in 2020 shortly after his arrest and, although he has directed and produced a film since then, he has not reappeared on screen.

He was indicted on new charges in February 2020 when the special counsel examined the case after debate over whether Smollett received preferential treatment from the state attorney’s office.

Smollett still faces a civil lawsuit from the city demanding reimbursement for the cost of investigating the reported attack. He filed a counterclaim in November 2019 that was ultimately dismissed.

CNN’s Omar Jimenez, Bill Kirkos and Ashley Killough reported from Chicago. Steve Almasy, Travis Caldwell, Eric Levenson, Jason Hanna, and Christina Maxouris contributed to this report.

Everything you need to know about the Jussie Smollett case 2:35

Source link

About Admin

Check Also

Actor and model Gaspard Ulliel dies at 37 after suffering a ski accident

French actor Gaspard Ulliel, famous for starring in Channel perfume ads and for his role ... Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *