Jussie Smollett Indicted on 16 Counts by Grand Jury

Jussie Smollett
Chicago Police

After being accused of falsely reporting an attack on himself, Jussie Smollett has been indicted on 16 counts by a grand jury.

The jury returned the indictment on Thursday, CBS Chicago reported, and Smollett is set to be arraigned on March 14.

Smollett has been charged with 16 counts of felony disorderly conduct in connection with falsely filing a police report. He has not yet entered a plea but has maintained his innocence.

“I wanted to say I’m sorry and, you know me, I would never do this to any of you, you are my family. I swear to God, I did not do this,” Smollett told the cast and crew of "Empire," according to TMZ. 

Fox, which produces "Empire," later announced that Smollett would be suspended in order to "avoid further disruption on set."

Smollett’s attorneys had previously said that the “presumption of innocence” was disregarded for Smollett. 

“Today we witnessed an organized law enforcement spectacle that has no place in the American legal system,” Smollett’s legal team said in a statement. “The presumption of innocence, a bedrock in the search for justice, was trampled upon at the expense of Mr. Smollett and notably, on the eve of a mayoral election.

"Mr. Smollett is a young man of impeccable character and integrity who fiercely and solemnly maintains his innocence and feels betrayed by a system that apparently wants to skip due process and proceed directly to sentencing.”

They did not immediately respond to Thursday's indictment.


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