Jury finds actor Jussie Smollett guilty

Former Empire star convicted of lying to US police in a hate crime hoax.

Former Empire star Jussie Smollett has been found guilty on five of six charges of disorderly conduct for making a false report to Chicago police that he was the victim of a hate crime in January 2019.

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

The trial, which began last week, stemmed from an incident nearly three years ago when Smollett told police two men attacked him late one night by his Chicago apartment. The mystery suspects called him anti-gay and racist slurs, put a noose around his neck, poured bleach on him and exclaimed, “This is MAGA country,” he told police.

Celebrities, politicians and others rallied to his defence, and police spent considerable resources tracking down the two suspects. But authorities soon determined that the suspects were actually two of Smollett’s acquaintances from the Empire set.

In court last week brothers Bola and Ola Osundairo, testified that Smollett directed and paid them to carry out the fake attack in an attempt to get media attention.

Smollett took the stand and maintained his innocence in the ordeal, denying he planned the attack and insisting he was a real victim of a crime. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The five guilty verdicts pertained to statements Smollett made to the police the day of the alleged assault, while the sixth count pertained to a police interview two weeks later.

Smollett faced six counts of “disorderly conduct,” a Class 4 felony in Illinois — a relatively minor offence. The charges carry a potential maximum sentence of three years in prison, but are more likely to result in a sentence of probation.

Update: Lead Smollett defense attorney Nenye Uche told media, “We feel 100% confident that this case will be won on appeal.”

Source: CNN, Variety

One Response

  1. I was hoping for a guilty conviction as it was obvious to anyone who has a working brain he was lying all along.

    Hopefully he’ll get at least six months imprisonment rather than the usual slap on the wrist penalty.

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