Former Empire actor Jesse Smollett is facing a new six-count indictment for filing false reports last year that he was the victim of a hate crime.
According to USA, Today Smollett had told police that he was beaten by two masked men while walking near a Chicago apartment. On January 29th 2019, he said the attackers shouted racial and anti-gay slurs poured a chemical substance over him and wrapped a noose around his neck.
CNN reports that, while Chicago police initially investigated the incident as a hate crime, prosecutors later claimed, Smollett paid the two men brothers, Abel and Ola Osen to stage the attack for publicity.
Court documents indicate that on January 22nd, 2019 Jesse Smollett received a threatening letter at the studio where the show Empire is filmed. It came with a white powdery substance that was later determined to be ibuprofen, Jesse, was said to be disappointed by the studio’s handling of the letter.
According to prosecutors, Smollett asked the brothers to attack him on the night of January 28th close to his Streeterville apartment, he asked one of the brothers to hurt him, but not too badly and for one of the brothers Ola to put a rope around his neck and pour gasoline on him and shout at him this is maga country.
He then gave the brothers $ 100 to buy rope, gasoline ski masks, gloves for the attack On January 29th, he also pointed out to the brothers where he wanted the attack to take place, pointing out a surveillance camera that would capture the Incident he instructed them to pour bleach instead of gasoline and not to bring through cell phones.
He then gave a $ 3,500 personal check payable to Abel. A delay due to a late flight Jesse was on caused a delay that pushed the plan back to 2 a.m. on the 29th, the actor called Abel at 12:49 a.m. once his plane landed
Minutes later the brothers hailed an uber switching to a cab Midway that took them three blocks from the scene. The attack took place at 2:04 a.m. as instructed, though, the attack happened out of the view of the camera.
The brothers fled the scene afterwards taking a taxi home. The actor had initially been indicted on March 2019 for 16 counts of felony disorderly conduct before charges were all dropped.
Just weeks later, a prosecutor says Smollett had forfeited his $10,000 and done community service. Following backlash from the dismissal, a judge assigned special prosecutor Dan Webb to look into why the original charges were dropped.
After considering the serious nature of the false police reports and the resources expended by Chicago PD to investigate his allegations, they have now determined, there are reasonable grounds to further prosecute, adding that it is in the interest of justice.
Another major factor that contributed to his decision is that the Cook County State Attorney’s Office could not provide evidence of similar cases.
Smollett is due in court on February 24th.