Jussie Smollett has been indicted on by a grand jury on charges related to a racist and homophobic attack last year that police in Chicago claim was a hoax.
Sources told CBS2 that the “Empire” actor was indicted following a six-month investigation. There was backlash from the decision by Cook County prosecutors when they decided to drop 16 disorderly conduct charges against the 37-year-old actor. In January 2019, he claimed that he’d been the victim of a hate crime, alleging that two masked men attacked him because he was gay and Black. He told authorities that he’d been beaten and had had slurs, homophobic and racial, at him.
BREAKING: Actor Jussie Smollett indicted by a grand jury. Special prosecutor Dan Webb has been digging into the case since August. More details to follow . @cbschicago https://t.co/1sBfbemQIM pic.twitter.com/f7QJnbRmMz
— Charlie De Mar (@CharlieDeMar) February 11, 2020
Within weeks, the police began to suspect that the actor orchestrated the attack. They believed he hired Ola and Abel Osundairo to stage the attack and allegedly paid them $3,500. The charges against Smollett were dismissed after he forfeited his $10,000 bail and performed 16 hours of community service. There were accusations that Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx gave Smollett preferential treatment which she denied.
Last year, she admitted that the case could’ve been handled better.
“In this case, we treated this case like we treated many other cases, but the fact of the matter is we didn’t communicate well to the public how and why we do what we do,” she told NBC 5. “And that’s on me. It’s my obligation as a public servant to be able to show people how we do our work and we fell short of that. I fell short.”
Cook County Judge Michael Toomin appointed former federal prosecutor Don Webb to the special prosecutor in the Smollet case last August. He indicated that the case would be started anew.
Smollett never admitted to any guilt but that and even filed suit, claiming malicious prosecution.