Grand Jury Indicts Jussie Smollett On 16 Counts Over False Police Report

Bond Hearing Held For Actor Jussie Smollett After Disorderly Conduct Charge

The indictment - eight counts from what he told the officer who responded to the report of the attack and eight for what he later told a detective - comes a little more than two weeks after prosecutors announced one felony count of the same charge.

On Friday, the State of IL hit suspended Empire star Smollett with 16 class 4 felony counts of disorderly conduct pertaining to allegations he filed a false police report after conspiring to orchestrate a hate crime hoax against himself for publicity purposes.

The counts relate to interviews Smollett gave to two police officers after the incident on January 29. First charged with disorderly conduct, the increase in charges is due to each false statement Smollett is accused of making.

Smollett was charged on February 20 with one count of disorderly conduct for filing a false police report. The two men police say Smollett hired to take part in the attack are both black.

Police allege the brothers wore gloves during the incident and bruises and scratches on his face were self-inflicted.

"I'm also concerned about what this means moving forward for hate crimes", said Johnson.

Smollett's attorney, Mark Geragos called the 16-count indictment "prosecutorial overkill".

But the investigation turned on Smollett. He is set to appear in court on March 14 where he will enter a plea and a judge will be assigned to the case.

"Jussie Smollett knew that at the time ... there was no reasonable ground for believing that such offenses had been committed", the indictment states.

"He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack", the statement continued.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said at a press conference last month that police found the "check that [Smollett] used to pay [two brothers]" to fake the beating, adding he paid them $3,500 "for the two of them in total, and then $500 upon return". Smollet claimed he was assaulted by two masked men who hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him and shouted "This is MAGA Country" after assaulting him.

CBS 2's Charlie De Mar has reported Smollett also directed the brothers to buy the noose at a hardware store and the hat and masks at a store in Uptown.

The TV executives revealed that they have taken the decision to remove his character from the final two episodes of the fifth season, which is now airing.

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