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Jussie Smollett indicted on 16 felony counts in alleged hate crime hoax

09 March 2019

A Chicago grand jury indicted Jussie Smollett, the "Empire" actor, on 16 counts for allegedly lying to police about what he described to be a hate crime attack, according to reports on March. 8.

He said they then punched him, poured a potentially chemical substance over him and put a rope around his neck - a reference to racist lynchings of African-Americans.

Smollett is accused of hiring brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo to beat him up outside his apartment on January 29 in what he later described to police as a racist and homophobic attack.

No mention is made in the indictment of Smollett's claim, according to police, that his attackers yelled, "This is MAGA country", referring to Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan, as they accosted him. The first is that by the time he talked to the detective, Smollett said he could see through the eye holes of one attacker's mask that he was a white man.

Smollett, who was charged on February 20 with disorderly conduct, "knew that at the time ... there was no reasonable ground for believing that such offenses had been committed", according to the indictment obtained by CBS Chicago.

There are new developments in Jussie Smollett's case.

The Chicago Police Department faces an internal investigation of their own after salacious details of Smollett's case continued to leak during the investigation.

Police say he staged the attack because he was "dissatisfied" with his salary.

The second set of charges are related to the second interview Smollett had with police about the alleged attack later that day. After turning himself in, a judge set Smollett's bond for $100,000 and he was released from jail.

Smollett and his attorneys have denied the allegations against him. In the second interview, he claimed that the men approached him from behind, kicking him, but that he fought back. Days later, they were no longer considered persons of interest but victims, and were released from custody without being charged. One brother was an extra on "Empire" and the other was Smollett's personal trainer. Chicago police took it a step further, accusing Smollett of faking the letter as well.

Jussie Smollett indicted on 16 felony counts in alleged hate crime hoax