Jussie Smollett Found Guilty on 5 Counts in Love-Entangled Hate Crime Hoax

In Summary

The actor could be sentenced up to three years in prison.

Jussie Smollett, who was on trial for orchestrating a love-entangled hate crime, was found guilty on five counts of staging a racist, anti-gay attack in Chicago by a jury on Dec. 9, according to the Associated Press’ Dan Gelston

The charges are listed as class 4 felonies, which are listed as the least serious felonies in the state of Illinois. 

According to BNC, count 1 accuses him of telling Chicago police officer Muhammad Baig that he was the victim of a hate crime, claiming two attackers put a noose around his neck. Count 2 refers to Smollett telling the same officer he was a victim of a battery, describing attackers beating and pouring bleach on him. Counts 3 and 4 are for when Smollett made the same claims but to a different officer, Kimberly Murray, later that morning just before 6 a.m. Count 5 accuses Smollett of again telling Murray at around 7:15 p.m. that he was the victim of a battery. Count 6 refers to Smollett reporting on Feb. 14, 2019, to detective Robert Graves that he’d been a victim of an aggravated battery. 

The 39-year-old former Empire star originally pleaded not guilty on six counts of disorderly conduct as a result of filing false police reports. 

The charge is punishable by up to three years in prison, according to CNN.  

On Monday, Smollett told the jury he wrote a $3,500 check to a friend for nutrition and training advice, not as payment for the man and his brother, Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, to help him stage a racist, anti-gay attack on himself in 2019. 

RelatedJussie Smollett, Accused of Hate Crimes Hoax, Testifies in His Trial 

In 2019, Smollett was allegedly walking home in downtown Chicago around 2 a.m. when he was approached by two men (Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo). Smollett said the two men yelled racist and homophobic slurs, beat him to the ground, doused him with bleach and wrapped a rope around his neck. 

The fallen star testified over the charges, denying that he lied to Chicago police about the attack. 

Reports then seeped out regarding the two men. Smollett said he met Abimbola at a club in 2017, where he learned Abimbola worked on the set of Empire. 

Smollett told the jury they did drugs together and went to a bathhouse and “made out.” 

On Dec. 6 and 7, Smollett explained the alleged attack to the jury, questioned the motives of the prosecution’s top witnesses and explained his lack of trust in the police. Prosecutors countered his testimony with more proof that they say validates the point he set up the hoax and lied to police about it, according to CNN. 

The defense rested its case on Tuesday, stating Smollett was a real victim of an attack and said the Osundairo brothers had other motives. 

Related: Defense Rests Its Case in Trial of Jussie Smollett 

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