After receiving a guilty verdict, actor Jussie Smollett will learn his fate in a sentencing hearing scheduled for March 10.
The latest update comes one month after Smollett was convicted on five of six counts in his hate crime hoax case, Fox News reports. The charges stem from a 2019 incident in which the former Empire star claimed he was attacked by two men who hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him before pouring bleach on him and wrapping a noose around his neck.
Following a lengthy investigation, investigators determined that Smollett made false statements to Chicago police and was found guilty on five counts of disorderly conduct. Authorities revealed that Smollett paid two Nigerian brothers he knew from the TV show Empire to stage the incident to gain publicity for himself.
The brothers, Bola and Ola Osundairo, testified against Smollett, admitting that the actor paid them and directed them to stage the fake hate crime attack in an attempt to get media attention, CNN reports.
Smollett testified in his own defense, claiming he only paid the brothers for their personal training and nutritional advice. He even admitted to having a past sexual relationship with one of the brothers.
A hearing for post-trial motions is scheduled for Jan. 27 at 11:30 a.m. ET.
When it comes to Smollett’s sentencing, his disorderly conduct conviction for a false crime report is categorized as a Class 4 felony that could put him behind bars for up to three years and result in a $25,000 fine.
Cook County Judge James Linn will issue the final ruling where he will have the power to impose a concurrent or consecutive sentence for each of Smollett’s five counts.
“When you testify in a case, the judge now gets a sense of what you said,” CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney Joey Jackson said.
“What Jussie Smollett said was resoundingly rejected by that jury. The jury did not buy what he was selling. That’s not lost upon a judge. You came into the courtroom and fabricated.”