Jussie Smollett Sentencing Set for March Following Hate Hoax Guilty Verdict

Chicago Police Department

Disgraced actor Jussie Smollett is set to be sentenced on March 10 after being found guilty of reporting a false hate crime against himself in Chicago.

The Empire star was found guilty on five of six counts of disorderly conduct for staging an anti-gay, racist attack on himself nearly three years ago and then lying about it to the Chicago Police Department. Smollett is now preparing to receive his sentence, according to ABC 7.

The verdict came after a week-long trial in which two brothers who were friends of Smollett testified that the actor recruited them to fake an attack on him in downtown Chicago in January of 2019. The brothers said Smollett planned the hoax, and instructed them to put a noose around his neck and to rough him up in view of a surveillance camera. The brothers also testified that Smollett said he wanted video of the hoax made public via social media.

The prosecution contended that Smollett hired the Osundairo brothers to stage the attack, and presented evidence that he worked with them to craft the attack for social media consumption.

Smollett denied the claims. During his testimony he called the two men “liars,” and insisted “there was no hoax.” And while admitting that it was the Osundairo brothers who attacked him, Smollet’s defense maintained that the brothers perpetrated a very real attack because they are homophobes.

After the sentencing phase is done, Smollett’s attorney said that they would appeal the verdict.

Smollett could be sentenced to up to three years in prison for a class 4 felony, but some have said it is more likely he will be sentenced to probation and ordered to perform community service.

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