Jussie Smollett was back in court on Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, where he pleaded not guilty to new charges in relation to allegations that he staged a racist and homophobic attack on himself past year. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for March 18.
A somber-looking Smollett, 37, entered a Cook County courthouse wearing sunglasses and sporting a beard, flanked by his legal teams and surrounded by reporters.
One of the two witnesses who testified before the grand jury is the very same detective Mr. Smollett is now suing for his role in the initial prosecution of him.
The case got even weirder when Cook County prosecutors eventually dropped the initial 16 felony counts against him last March.
He was released on his own recognizance. He was not taken into custody. Martin could order Smollett to return to court on another day for his first hearing before that judge, but it is more likely that he will simply tell the actor and the attorneys to immediately report to the trial judge. In addition the office of the Cook County State's Attorney was unable to provide evidence of similar cases to show that Smollett did not receive special treatment, which added another "major factor" in deciding to prosecute him, Webb said.
Mr Webb said he determined that further prosecution of Smollett was warranted, calling into question prosecutors' judgment in dropping the original case but finding no wrongdoing on their part.
Jussie Smollett Pleads Not Guilty To Charges
After the hearing, Glandian said they will be filing motions to have the case dismissed on grounds of double jeopardy and whether a special prosecutor should have ever been appointed in the first place.
Jussie Smollett pleaded not guilty Monday to renewed charges accusing him of staging a racist, homophobic attack against himself previous year in Chicago.
Smollett, who had been one of the main cast members on "Empire", reported to police in January 2019 that he was attacked in the middle of the night by two masked men while walking near his home in the large midwestern city.
According to Smollett, his two assailants threw a noose around his neck and poured chemicals on him while yelling racist and homophobic slurs and expressions of support for President Donald Trump.
Those men, brothers Abimbola "Abel" Osundairo and Olabinjo "Ola" Osundairo, are bodybuilders and aspiring actors whom Smollett knew from the Empire set and the gym. The lawsuit was later moved to federal court after Smollett's attorneys argued that is the proper venue because Smollett, who lived in Chicago while filming "Empire", is actually a California resident.
The Osundairo brothers attended the arraignment, and their lawyer also told CBS: "They are here because they want the truth to be told".
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