Jussie Smollett Indicted for “False Reports” of Alleged Attack

Jussie Smollett Indicted for “False Reports” of Alleged Attack

Jussie Smollett has been indicted by a Cook County grand jury on six charges of disorderly conduct over the January 2019 police report where he claimed that he was the victim of a hate crime, NBC News reports. Special Prosecutor Dan Webb’s office announced the six-count indictment in a statement today.

In early 2019, Smollet—the actor who formerly played Jamal Lyons on Empirealleged that he was attacked in Chicago. The incident was described and investigated as a hate crime, however the case took an unexpected turn when Smollett was later indicted for allegedly staging the attack. Smollett pleaded not guilty, and the charges were ultimately dropped.

The special prosecutor’s office cited “sufficient factual evidence to determine that it disagrees” with the Cook County State Attorney’s Office decision to drop the charges in exchange for Smollett forfeiting his bond and doing community service. According to the special prosecutor’s statement, “The CCSAO decision-makers overseeing the Smollett resolution decision have not identified any new evidence they learned of between the time of indictment and dismissal of the indictment that changed their view that the evidence against Mr. Smollett was strong.”

Smollett’s attorney said in a statement:

This indictment raises serious questions about the integrity of the
investigation that led to the renewed charges against Mr. Smollett,
not the least of which is the use of the same CPD detectives who were
part of the original investigation into the attack on Mr. Smollett to
conduct the current investigation, despite Mr. Smollett’s pending
civil claims against the City of Chicago and CPD officers for
malicious prosecution. And one of the two witnesses who testified
before the grand jury is the very same detective Mr. Smollett is
currently suing for his role in the initial prosecution of him.

After more than five months of investigation, the Office of the
Special Prosecutor has not found any evidence of wrongdoing whatsoever
related to the dismissal of the charges against Mr. Smollett. Rather,
the charges were appropriately dismissed the first time because they
were not supported by the evidence. The attempt to re-prosecute Mr.
Smollett one year later on the eve of the Cook County State’s Attorney
election is clearly all about politics not justice.

The City of Chicago is currently suing Smollett over the cost of the police investigation.

This article was originally published on February 11 at 6:15 p.m. Eastern. It was last updated on February 11 at 8:23 p.m. Eastern.