AP featured image
Actor Jussie Smollett gestures as he leaves Cook County Court after his charges were dropped Tuesday, March 26, 2019, in Chicago. Prosecutors on Tuesday abruptly dropped all charges against Smollett, defense attorneys said, apparently abandoning the case barely five weeks after the “Empire” actor was accused of lying to police about being the target of a racist, anti-gay attack in downtown Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

 

“Empire” Actor Jussie Smollett just can’t seem to get a break. After he was once again charged for pulling off a hate crime hoax early last year, a Cook County judge rejected his request to dismiss the charges. Now, his countersuit against the Chicago Police department has met the same fate.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall threw out Smollett’s countersuit against the Chicago Police Department on Wednesday. She indicated that the actor lacks standing to countersue while he currently has charges against him. The judge also stated that the police acted in accordance with the law because they “had probable cause” to believe that Smollett had faked the hate crime.

The actor is facing six counts of in a felony indictment for allegedly making false statements to the police. He is accused of engineering a fake racist, homophobic, hate crime that he blamed on Trump supporters. Originally, he alleged that he was attacked while walking home from a Subway restaurant. The supposed attackers allegedly shouted racial epithets and tied a noose around his neck.

Last year, Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx dropped the charges against Smollett, justifying the decision by claiming it was a victimless crime and pointing to his supposed service to the community. However, special prosecutor Dan Webb was appointed to look into the matter and he filed new charges in February of this year.

The city filed a suit against Smollett in an effort to recoup the $130,106 from the actor for the cost of investigating his alleged hoax. The actor’s attorneys filed a lawsuit in November 2019 accusing the police of “malicious prosecution.” They claimed that the Chicago PD caused “humiliation, mental anguish and extreme emotional distress” in the actor.

Smollett – who still maintains his innocence – was released on bond in February. His lawyers indicated that he is prepared to go to trial. “It’s very frustrating, especially when you see what the law says and you see the actions that were taken that were contrary to the law, so we’re optimistic that the higher court will reverse this,” his lawyers said in February.

Last year, when Foxx dropped the charges against Smollett, it seemed that justice would not be done. However, the fact that Webb is pursuing the case indicates that the actor might not get away with his alleged crime.

While the media will likely ignore the story due to the fact that there is no evidence proving that this incident was not a hoax, one can be sure that if the actor is convicted, it might discourage others from engaging in the same behavior. Or perhaps, hoaxters might just try to be a little more clever with their deceptions?

 

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