jussie smollett trial

Jussie Smollett Verdict: What He Was Found Guilty of, and What's Next in the Legal Saga

Here’s the latest on what we know about the trial and what will happen next

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Former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett was convicted Thursday in connection with allegations that he had faked a racist and homophobic attack on himself in Jan. 2019, and then lied to Chicago police about the alleged incident.

After deliberating for nearly nine hours, a jury convicted him on five of six counts that he faced in the case.

Here’s the latest on what we know about the trial, and what will happen next.

What He Was Convicted Of

Smollett was convicted of five counts of disorderly conduct, a class 4 felony in the state of Illinois, on the basis that he filed false police reports.

Each one of the counts he was convicted on represented one false report to police, according to court documents.

Jurors ultimately convicted him on five of the six counts, but acquitted him on the sixth.

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That sixth count was filed based on an interview conducted by a Chicago police detective on Feb. 14, 2019, two weeks after the alleged attack took place.

The other five counts that Smollett was acquitted on were based on interviews that took place on Jan. 29 in the hours after the incident.

How Were the Counts Broken Up?

Count 1 accused him of telling responding Chicago Police Officer Muhammed Baig at around 2:45 a.m., some 45 minutes after the purported attack, that he was the victim of a hate crime. He said two attackers put a rope around his neck.

Count 2 refers to Smollett telling the same officer he was a victim of a battery, describing attackers beating and pouring bleach on him.

Counts 3 and 4 are when Smollett made the same claims but to a different officer, Kimberly Murray, later that morning, at just before 6 a.m.

Count 5 accuses Smollett of again telling Murray at around 7:15 p.m. that he was the victim of a battery.

Count 6 refers to Smollett reporting on Feb. 14, 2019, to detective Robert Graves that he’d been a victim of an aggravated battery. This was the count that Smollett was acquitted on.

What’s Next

Smollett will next face sentencing in the case, but a date for the hearing has not yet been set.

On the five charges that Smollett was convicted of, he could face up to three years in prison on each count, according to Illinois law.

Still, experts have said throughout the trial that due to his lack of criminal history and the fact that no one was seriously injured, it seems unlikely that he will end up serving jail time.

The punishments for a Class 4 felony can also include probation and community service, which will be more likely outcomes in any sentencing hearing.

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