“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett has been indicted on 16 felony counts following his Chicago assault allegations.
The Prepare dinner County grand jury indictment, dated Thursday and made public on Friday, provides particulars of the disorderly conduct cost towards Smollett, in accordance with The Related Press. It elaborates on the allegation that he falsely reported that he’d been attacked in late January.
The indictment — eight counts from what he informed the officer who responded to the report of the assault and eight for what he later informed a detective — comes slightly greater than two weeks after prosecutors introduced one felony rely of the identical cost.
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Following the information, lawyer Mark Geragos — who is representing Smollett — stated in a press release obtained by Fox Information on Friday that “the very fact of an indictment was not surprising.”
“We knew that there isn’t a method they might expose their proof to a public airing and topic their witnesses to cross-examination,” the assertion continued. “What’s surprising, nevertheless, is the prosecutorial overkill in charging 16 separate counts towards Jussie.
“This redundant and vindictive indictment is nothing greater than a determined try to make headlines with a view to distract from the interior investigation launched to analyze the outrageous leaking of false data by the Chicago Police Division and the shameless and unlawful invasion of Jussie’s privateness in tampering along with his medical information. Jussie adamantly maintains his innocence even when regulation enforcement has robbed him of that presumption.”
A spokesperson for the Prepare dinner County State’s Lawyer didn’t instantly reply to Fox Information’ request for remark.
Additionally on Friday, Anthony Guglielmi, the chief communications officer for the Chicago Police Division (CPD), tweeted: “As Supt Johnson acknowledged, allegations towards Mr. Smollett are shameful & if confirmed, they’re an affront to the individuals of Chicago who embraced him as a neighbor & revered him as a job mannequin. We stand behind the work of detectives & refer any touch upon indictment to prosecutors.”
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Earlier this week, it was revealed that the Chicago Police opened an inside investigation into Smollet’s case.
In a press release to Fox Information on Thursday, a spokesperson for the pressure confirmed that “an inside investigation has been opened.”
“I want to level out that quite a lot of the knowledge on the market was inaccurate and there have been quite a few businesses concerned on this investigation,” the assertion continued. “As an ordinary process when there are allegations of knowledge being leaked, an inside investigation has been opened and we’re additionally taking a look at our vulnerabilities.”
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In January, Smollett informed police that he was attacked by two masked males as he was strolling residence from a sandwich store within the early morning on Jan. 29. The actor, who’s black and homosexual, stated the masked males beat him, made derogatory feedback and yelled, “That is MAGA nation” — an obvious reference to President Trump’s marketing campaign slogan, “Make America Nice Once more” — earlier than fleeing.
However that is not how police say all of it went down.
Smollett, who’s accused of submitting a false police report, was charged final month with felony disorderly conduct. After turning himself in, a choose set Smollett’s bond for $100,000 and he was launched from jail.
In keeping with the Chicago Police Division, Smollett paid Abimbola “Abel” and Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo by examine for a “phony assault” with a view to take “benefit of the ache and anger of racism to advertise his profession.”
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Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson stated at a press convention final month that police discovered the “examine that [Smollett] used to pay [two brothers]” to pretend the beating, including he paid them $three,500 “for the 2 of them in complete, after which $500 upon return.”
He stated the assault “was staged, the brothers had on gloves throughout the (air quotes) ‘staged assault’ the place they punched him slightly, however so far as we will inform, the scratching and bruising that you just noticed on [Smollett’s] face was almost definitely self-inflicted.”
Smollett has maintained his innocence. The actor’s authorized counsel informed Fox Information after Smollett was accused of submitting the pretend police report that the nation “witnessed an organized regulation enforcement spectacle that has no place within the American authorized system.
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“The presumption of innocence, a bedrock within the seek for justice, was trampled upon on the expense of Mr. Smollett and notably, on the eve of a Mayoral election,” his group continued.
“Mr. Smollett is a younger man of impeccable character and integrity who fiercely and solemnly maintains his innocence betrayed by a system that apparently needs to skip due course of and proceed on to sentencing.”
Illinois lawyer Rod Drobinski reviewed the indictment and informed Fox Information the grand jury hit Smollett with a separate rely for each completely different crime he alleged had been perpetrated towards him (eight in all) — to every of the officers he spoke with (two). Thus, the 16 complete counts.
It is a creating story. Examine again right here for updates.
Fox Information’ Sasha Savitsky and Julius Younger and The Related Press contributed to this report.