Jussie Smollett Indicted On 16 Felony Charges By Grand Jury In Chicago

Empire actor Jussie Smollett leaves Cook County jail after posting bond

Empire actor Jussie Smollett leaves Cook County jail after posting bond

The Cook County grand jury that investigated Jussie Smollett has returned with a 16-count true bill of felony charges that are connected to the falsified hate crime that caused a media whirlwind since January.

But after police detained two men who were "persons of interest", police sources revealed that police suspected Smollett knew the men and allegedly had paid them $3,500 to stage the attack. Smollett, who is African-American and plays a gay character on Empire, told police that he was assaulted while walking home from a downtown Subway sandwich shop.

Each of the new charges carries a potential sentence of up to four years, but realistically, in cases likes this, a plea bargain likely rather than a long-term jail sentence.

The second has to do with what Smollett told police in an interview.

Empire actors Abimbola 'Abel'  and Olabinjo 'Ola' Osundairo were questioned over the alleged attack on Jussie Smollett

Whoa! With all the evidence we've been hearing, the clock has been ticking on Jussie Smollett being charged with a crime.

Smollett claimed the two men had beat him, said homophobic and racial slurs and put a noose around his neck before fleeing.

Police 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 February 13 but then released without charges, with police saying they were no longer considered suspects.

Smollett has denied any involvement in orchestrating an attack.

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