Update: Jussie Smollett Pleads Not Guilty to 16 Charges, Lying to Police

Update 03/14/2019 6:49pm:

Jussie Smollett pleaded not guilty to all 16 disorderly conduct charges in his alleged attack hoax case on Thursday (March 14). Many suspected the 36-year-old Empire actor would enter a plea deal, which he didn't. Trial Judge Steven Watkins also expanded Jussie's travel restrictions, allowing him to travel to Los Angeles and New York to meet with his legal team.

Smollett was arrested by Chicago police shortly after claiming that he was beaten up in a racist and homophobic attack, as they suspected that he faked the attack "to promote his career." Superintendent Eddie Johnson said that brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo implicated that Smollett paid them to set up the attack during a police interrogation.

Smollett's legal team called the situation "an organized law enforcement spectacle that has no place in the American legal system." The actor's lawyer, Tina Glandian, also addressed the case on Tuesday after appearing in court.

She stated, "There has been a lot of misinformation in this case that's been presented as fact and evidence against Mr. Smollett that is demonstrably false. We welcome cameras in the courtroom so that members of the media can see the actual evidence — and what we feel is actually going to be a lack of evidence — against Mr. Smollett. And we look forward to complete transparency and the truth coming out."

Source: NPR 

Original 03/08/2019 5:25pm:

Empire actor Jussie Smollett was indicted on 16 felony counts by a Cook County grand jury on Friday (March 8) afternoon for falsely reporting a hate crime attack against himself. The indictment states, "Jussie Smollett knew that at the time … there was no reasonable ground for believing that such offenses had been committed."

According to CBS 2 in Chicago, each count against Smollett stems from the false statements he gave to two Chicago Police officers and the alleged acts he claims were carried out on him.

More details to come.

Source: CBS 2 Chicago

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