Former Empire actor Jussie Smollett pleaded not guilty to six felony charges of disorderly conduct in Chicago, IL.

The court alleges Smollett staged a hate crime on himself in January 2019.

From The Chicago Tribune:

The new indictment earlier this month alleged the actor best known for his now-ended role in the “Empire” TV show made four separate false reports to Chicago police in the aftermath of the Jan. 29, 2019, incident near Smollett’s residence in Chicago’s tony Streeterville neighborhood.

Smollett’s lawyers had requested a delay in the arraignment, saying they were filing paperwork with the state’s high court and a motion in Linn’s courtroom to dismiss the indictment on double-jeopardy grounds.

Linn did not delay the proceedings and instead released Smollett on his own recognizance. Linn said he expects the actor to appear for court dates during which substantive arguments will be made; it is not yet clear whether that will be the case for the next hearing March 18.

Smollett’s lawyers filed motions with the Illinois Supreme Court on Monday seeking a stay in the criminal case in Chicago, a dismissal of the indictment, and asking that a prior court order establishing lawyer Dan Webb as special prosecutor be vacated. The order “vested the special prosecutor with overly broad duties that have now resulted in a second prosecution of Mr. Smollett, on identical charges that were previously nolle prossed by the duly-elected State’s Attorney,” the motion states.

The new charges come from special prosecutor Dan Webb after Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx’s office dropped the original 16 charges against Smollett last summer:

Cook County prosecutors dropped the first case against the actor with little explanation in a highly controversial move that has cast a long shadow over the upcoming primary race for state’s attorney.

After a judge found that Smollett’s first prosecution was invalid, Webb was appointed to determine whether the actor should again face charges. On Feb. 11, his special grand jury indicted Smollett on new counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly lying to police.


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