Jussie Smollett has just been charged with 16 count felony indictment by a grand jury.
An Illinois grand jury indicted “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett on 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for filing a false police report.
According to the Cook County State Attorney’s Office, the grand jury returned two separate sets of charges.
You recall, Smollett told police he was attacked by two masked men near his apartment in Chicago at around 2 a.m. on Jan. 29.
The two men, Smollett initially said, shouted racist and homophobic slurs at him as a rope was wrapped around his neck and an unknown chemical substance was poured on him.
The first set of charges is related to what Smollett told officers about the alleged attack, including that the attackers called him racial and homophobic slurs, struck him with their hands, put a noose around his neck, and poured some sort of chemical substance on him.
The second set of charges are related to the second interview Smollett had with police about the alleged attack later that day. The second charges are for telling a false report to a detective the same day, while adding he was approached from behind and fought back, including details of skin color and being kicked in the back.
The new set of charges are said to each carry a possible sentence of probation to four years. There are reports that he is unlikely to be convicted on all the crimes, with the likelihood of reaching a plea bargain, resulting in one or two charges being plead guilty.
Smollett’s next court date is scheduled for next week.
Smollett already pleaded not guilty to the first disorderly conduct charge. He was taken into custody and posted $100,000 bond to be freed.
Police had identified and questioned two “persons of interest” captured on surveillance video near the scene around the time of the alleged attack. The men, Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, were arrested on Feb. 13 but then released without charges, with police saying they were no longer considered suspects.
While being questioned by investigators, the brothers claimed that Smollett paid them $3,500 to help orchestrate and stage the crime after he became upset that a letter threatening him, sent Jan. 22 to the Fox studio where the television series “Empire” is filmed, did not get enough attention, law enforcement sources told ABC News