Jussie Smollett Found Guilty On Five Felony Counts

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Jussie Smollett will be sentenced in the coming weeks.

Jussie Smollett has been accused of lying to police about being the victim of a racial and homophobic hate crime in the year 2019. The jury discussed for more than nine hours before reaching a decision.

Earlier this week, a jury in Chicago convicted actor Jussie Smollett guilty of fraudulently reporting to police that he had been the victim of a racial and homophobic assault in 2019, an incident that investigators said was a fabrication orchestrated by the actor himself.

After more than nine hours of deliberation, the 12-member jury said that it had decided to trust the statements of two brothers who claimed that Mr. Smollett had requested them to lightly harm him as part of a publicity hoax.

 Jussie Smollett
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – DECEMBER 07: Former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett arrives at the Leighton Courts Building for day six of his trial on December 7, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. Smollett is accused of lying to police when he reported that two masked men physically attacked him yelling racist and anti-gay remarks near his Chicago home in 2019. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The case began in the wee hours of the morning of Jan. 29, 2019, when Mr. Smollett — then best known for his role in the Fox music-industry drama “Empire” — reported to authorities that he had been the victim of a hate crime near his Chicago apartment complex. In 2016, the story, which included one of Mr. Smollett’s assailants saying “This is MAGA country,” captured the attention of a politically split nation worried about a rise in hate crime complaints and the danger of racism in the United States.

Mr. Smollett had instructed his two brothers, Abimbola Osundairo and Olabinjo Osundairo, on all of the details, including that they punch him hard enough to create a bruise but not hard enough to injure him, pour bleach on his clothing, and tie a rope around his neck to resemble a noose, according to prosecutors in court. A term of up to three years in jail is conceivable for Mr. Smollett, who was deemed guilty of felony disorderly conduct in connection with the false allegation and now faces 3 years in prison.

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