The Jussie Smollett situation took a big turn earlier this week with the arrest of two brothers who allegedly helped the Empire star orchestrate his own attack. Now, Smollett is facing felony disorderly conduct charges tied to evidence that he allegedly filed a false police report on January 29.
The charge Jussie Smollett is facing is a Class 4 felony according to police spokes person Anthony Guglielmi. The news came after reports that investigators were presenting evidence to a grand jury on Wednesday in order to start the process of arresting Smollett and charging him with the crime.
Case Update: Jussie Smollett is now officially classified as a suspect in a criminal investigation by #ChicagoPolice for filing a false police report (Class 4 felony). Detectives are currently presenting evidence before a Cook County Grand Jury. pic.twitter.com/FhDcbBKsuU
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 20, 2019
Smollett claimed that he was beaten by two men wearing MAGA hats and slinging racial and homophobic slurs who also put a rope around his neck and poured a bleach-like substance on him. The claim started a weeks-long investigation into the alleged hate crime that led investigators to two Nigerian brothers who had been linked to Smollett previously.
Could Jussie Smollett go to jail?
If the attack was faked and Jussie Smollett is proven to have filed a false police report, the Class 4 felony charge against him could carry a jail term of one to three years. However, a first time offender would more likely avoid jail time and get probation instead.
There’s also a good chance Smollett could be forced to pay restitution for the cost of the investigation, which took Chicago investigators away from other important cases in order to investigate his claims.
“Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted in regard to this latest development in the case.
Felony criminal charges have been approved by @CookCountySAO against Jussie Smollett for Disorderly Conduct / Filing a False Police Report. Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest. pic.twitter.com/LvBSYE2kVj
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 21, 2019
Jussie Smollett has retained two local attorneys, Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson, as well as high-powered celebrity defense attorney Mark Geragos to represent him.