Jussie Smollett’s Felony Disorderly Conduct Conviction Upheld by Appeals Court

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Jussie Smollett, the former Empire actor who was convicted of staging and reporting a hate crime on himself in 2019, may have to finish a 150-day jail sentence that was cut short last year, The Associated Press reports. Smollett had appealed his conviction, but an Illinois court has now upheld it. The AP reports that, while Smollett challenged evidence, jury selection, the role of special prosecutor, and other facets of the case, an Illinois appellate court ruled against him in a 2-1 decision.

In January 2019, Smollett, who is Black and gay, reported to the Chicago Police Department that he had been the victim of a racist and homophobic attack. In the ensuing months, the two suspects originally arrested in connection with the alleged attack were released from police custody. Days later, Smollett was charged with felony disorderly conduct for filing a false police report about the attack.

After losing his spot on the remainder of Empire’s fifth season, Smollett was hit with a 16-count grand jury indictment for filing false police reports and posing as a victim of a hate crime. Smollett pleaded not guilty on all counts, and the charges were ultimately dropped.

He was indicted again, however, on six counts of disorderly conduct for the bogus 2019 police report. After pleading not guilty to the new indictment, Smollett was convicted on all six counts in December 2021.

Smollett was originally sentenced to 150 days in county jail in March of last year, but an appeals court ordered his release after the actor had served six days of the stint. At the time, the court ruled that Smollett should be released pending the appeal of his conviction. Smollett’s release was contingent on a personal recognizance bond of $150,000 that would require him to be in attendance at court.



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