New York, 2022-03-10 20:57:55. What charges did Josie Smollett bring at trial?
CHICAGO – The twists, turns and oddities of the legal saga surrounding Josie Smollett’s claim in 2019 that he was the target of a racist and homophobic attack in Chicago culminated Thursday with his sentencing. It follows a trial in December that ended with a jury convicting Smollett of five counts of disorderly conduct. Smollett was acquitted of the sixth count.
On Thursday, a judge sentenced the former “Empire” actor to 150 days in prison for lying to police about a racist and homophobic attack he staged himself. Cook County Judge James Lane sentenced Smollett to 30 months in prison for a felony, including 150 days in county jail. Lane refused a request to suspend Smollett’s sentence and ordered him to be taken into custody immediately.
Smollett was also ordered to pay $120,106 in compensation to the City of Chicago.
Initial charges were filed in February 2019 accusing Smollett of faking the assault shortly after she was thrown. But in February 2020, after the special prosecutor looked into the case, a new indictment of six counts was filed.
Here’s a look at the charges considered by Cook County jurors:
WHAT ARE THE FEES AGAINST SMOLLETT?
The 39-year-old was charged under the Illinois Disorderly Conduct Act, which covers a wide range of offenses, from making 911 prank calls to making harassing calls as a debt collector.
He faced six counts of disorderly conduct under a subsection of the law prohibiting false reporting to the police. Some countries do not classify false police reports as disorderly conduct.
The charges are listed as Class 4 felonies, among the least serious felonies in Illinois. But the conviction can still carry up to three years in prison.
Although Smollett has been convicted on five of the six counts, his lack of criminal history and the fact that no one was seriously hurt makes actual time behind bars unbearable. It is more likely that the judge will sentence him to probation and may order him to perform community service.
“I would be shocked if he spent one day in jail,” Andrew Weisberg, a Chicago criminal attorney and former Cook County District Attorney, said in December.
How special are these fees?
The Smollett case was certainly unique in how she got involved with a star actor and in her erotic allegations and counter-allegations – first by Smollett, who is black and gay, that he was attacked and then by the police that he did everything higher.
While it is among the largest cases of disorderly conduct in Illinois history, it is not the only case that has caused quite a stir in the news.
Canadian Robert Spring was charged with disorderly conduct in 2011 after Chicago police said he lied about being beaten and having tickets to the Oprah Winfrey Show. He fabricated the story, even cutting his forehead with a stone, to hide from his wife that he had no tickets. He pleaded guilty and did not spend any time in prison.
Accusations of disorderly conduct by filing a false police report are not uncommon and are sometimes linked to insurance fraud. Last year, a man in the Chicago suburb of Wheaton was charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly lying to police because he had been robbed in a parking garage at gunpoint.
Weisberg says those who grumble in initial police reports are often quick to back down and are often charged if they take them back immediately. After the police accused him of lying, Smollett doubled down and insisted that it was all true.
Weisberg added that Smollett’s case stands out in that it ever went to trial. In many cases, those accused of lying to the police seek a plea bargain or an admission of guilt without agreement.
Why six charges against Smallett for the same incident?
Each charge of disorderly conduct represented a case during January 29, 2019, and then on February 14, 2019, in which Smollett allegedly lied to the police.
Count 1 charged him with telling Chicago police respondent Muhammad Page at approximately 2:45 a.m., about 45 minutes after the alleged attack, that he was the victim of a hate crime. He said assailants put a rope around his neck. Count 2 indicated that Smollett told the same officer that he was a victim of a battery, and described the attackers as beating him and pouring bleach on him.
Counts 3 and 4 arose from Smollett making the same allegations but to another officer, Kimberly Murray, later that morning, just before 6 a.m.
Count 5 Smollett was accused of telling Murray again at about 7:15 PM that he was the victim of a battery.
He was acquitted on count 6, which referred to Smollett’s February 14, 2019 report, to Detective Robert Graves that he was the victim of an aggravated battery.
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