A judge in Chicago on Thursday set March 10 as the date actor Jussie Smollett will be sentenced. following his conviction in submitting a false police report in which he claimed to be the victim of a racist and homophobic attack.
Last year, a jury found Mr. Smollett guilty of five counts of disorderly conduct related to making a false report; he was acquitted in a similar number of other cases. On Thursday, Smollett, formerly a cast member of the Fox music industry drama “Empire,” and his attorneys attended the first trial after the sentencing from afar.
Mr. Smollett, who was released after being convicted and attended a brief hearing from New York, told the judge he would come personally to deliver the sentencing.
In January 2019Mr Smollett reported to police that his two attackers beat him, hurled racist and homophobic insults at him, tied a rope around his neck and poured bleach on his clothes during an assault. hung early in the morning.
Two brothers, Abimbola Osundairo and Olabinjo Osundairo, whom police identified as the attackers, later told the jury at last year’s trial that Mr Smollett directed them to carry out the attack.
Prosecutors argue that Mr. Smollett’s account was a hoax staged for publicity.
Mr. Smollett’s lead attorney, Nenye Uche, said his client plans to appeal the ruling. Mr Smollett, who testified in the trial, claimed he was the victim of an actual assault. His lawyers argued that the Osundairo brothers were liars who attacked Mr. Smollett to scare him into hiring them as bodyguards, and who concocted a story to avoid prosecution.
Mr. Smollett’s sentence carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison.
Daniel K. Webb, the special prosecutor handling the case, has not yet said whether he will recommend jail time to the judge but has stressed how serious he thinks the case is, said after sentencing that Mr Smollett had “no remorse at all”.
Some Experts say they will find it surprising if Mr. Smollett is jailed because he has been convicted of the lowest felony and has no prior felony convictions. Mr Uche said last month that he had “never seen a case like this where the person was in jail”, adding that he believed Mr Smollett would be exonerated on appeal.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/27/arts/television/jussie-smollett-sentencing-date.html Jussie Smollett sentencing set for March 10