Jussie Smollett Indicted on 16 Felony Counts

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The indictment, returned by a grand jury on Thursday, charges Smollett with 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct alleging that he gave false accounts of an attack on him to police investigators.

Smollett said they also yelled, "This is MAGA country", referring to President Donald Trump's campaign slogan of "Make America Great Again".

Police identified and questioned two "persons of interest", Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, who were arrested and released without charges.

Jussie Smollett
Jussie Smollett

The grand jury indictment states that Smollett lied about his attack to two separate police officers, one of whom took his initial statement, and one of whom conducted a follow-up interview the next day.

Following the news, attorney Mark Geragos - who is representing Smollett - said in a statement obtained by Fox News that "the fact of an indictment was not unexpected".

Detectives in Chicago later determined that Smollett allegedly set up the attack, which was highly publicized by media outlets, politicians, and celebrities.

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But after several weeks of investigation, Chicago police said Smollett staged the attack.

Just one of the felony charges carries the a three-year sentence behind bars if Smollett is convicted, which means the 36 year old could potentially spend decades in jail.

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Smollett is scheduled to be arraigned on March 14, however, ABC 7 reported that experts believe it is likely he will strike a plea deal and potentially not spend time in prison. The grand jury also reportedly accused Smollett of falsifying a crime.

Smollett told the police that he was assaulted at 2 a.m.by two men who shouted homophobic and racial slurs and put a noose around his neck.

Police have said they are no longer considered suspects.

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On January 29th it was reported that Jussie Smollett was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in Chicago. After 47 hours in police custody, the pair told police that Smollett has paid them $3,500 to stage the attack, in an effort to raise the actor's profile and win him a higher salary for his role on the TV show.

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