Chicago Jury Found Jussie Smollett Guilty of Falsely Reporting a Hate Crime
Jussie Smollett, the now disgraced former Empire star has been found guilty of five counts of disorderly conduct for making false crime reports to Chicago police, saying he was a hate crime victim in 2019.
According to CNN, Smollett now faces jail time of up to three years in prison for a Class 4 felony stemming from a disorderly conduct charge for the false crime report, which holds a $25,000 fine.
Smollett was found guilty on five of the six counts of disorderly conduct — one count for each separate time he was charged with lying to police after the attack, according to USA Today. On the sixth count, Smollett was acquitted of lying to a detective in February, several weeks after he initially claimed he was attacked.
Smollett, was on trial and accused of staging a physical attack against himself in January 2019. Smollett told police officers he was assaulted by two masked men who yelled racial epithets and homophobic slurs at him before placing a noose around his neck and pouring liquid on him.
Skeptical of his version of the incident, prosecutors charged Smollett with six counts of disorderly conduct and is being accused of lying to the police officers about incident. They believe the actor paid the brothers $3,500 to stage the attack, which Smollett refuted.
CNN legal analyst Joey Jackson said while Smollett certainly can get jail time, the judge still has the option to give him probation.
Also since Smollett testified in court it opened him up to the possibility of jail time which Laura Coates, a former federal prosecutor, said was a bad call by Smollett’s defense team.
“So him taking the stand lead to his exposure in the way Joey has spoken about,” Coates said. “A judge is now looking at you, taking everything you had to say and assessing it.”
This is a developing story.