The Chicago police department caught Jussie Smollett last month in what they believe was a hate crime hoax he cooked up to get more money for his work on the hit Fox TV show “Empire.”
Just today, a grand jury handed down indictments against the actor and while they are lengthy, Smollett may not have to serve one day of time for his alleged actions.
ABC 7 Chicago reports:
A Cook County grand jury has returned a 16-count indictment against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, according to court records.
The Cook county State’s Attorney’s Office confirmed the indictment, which they said was returned by a grand jury on Thursday.
The grand jury returned two separate sets of charges. The first set are 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.
According to CWBChicago, Smollett could get off the hook as far as jail time goes:
The new charges against Smollett each carry a potential sentence of probation to four years if convicted. Realistically, though, Smollett is unlikely to be convicted on more than a fraction of the charges. Most Cook County criminal cases are resolved through plea bargains in which a defendant pleads guilty to one and, rarely, two counts of an indictment in return for a favorable sentence. Only by going to trial do most defendants run the real risk of being convicted of more than one or two counts.
In related news, the Chicago PD have started another investigation into the media leaks on the case:
In another aspect of the case, Chicago police have opened an internal investigation to determine who leaked information about the Smollett case, the department confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter on Friday.
Though it’s really disheartening to find out he may not have to serve time if convicted of all of these charges, The Daily Wire points out Smollett still may face federal charges as well:
Unfortunately for Smollett, he is also awaiting the outcome of a Federal investigation involving the United States Postal Inspector, over whether Smollett mailed a threatening letter, containing a “white powder” that turned out to be crushed Tylenol, to himself using the United States Postal Service.
Smollett is currently out on bond, and is scheduled to be in court on March 14th.
This is a developing story. Stay tuned for updates.
—Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter.–