Jussie Smollett loses appeal in staged attack case; will be going back to jail

Smollett will have to go back to jail to serve out his term.

An Illinois appellate court on Friday upheld the disorderly conduct convictions of Jussie Smollett, the actor and musician who was accused of staging a racist, homophobic attack against himself in 2019, according to The Chicago Tribune.

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The ruling means Smollett will go back to jail.

Smollett reported to police that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack by two men wearing ski masks. The manhunt for the attackers soon turned into an investigation of Smollett as what the actor said happened did not line up. He was arrested on charges he had orchestrated the attack.

About a month after prosecutors charged Smollett, prosecutors dropped all counts against him, noting that he forfeited his $10,000 bond and had done community service.

However, the following month, prosecutors charged Smollett with disorderly conduct for concocting the hoax with brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo.

The brothers testified that Smollett paid them to help him with the attack.

Smollett was convicted in 2021 on five felony counts of disorderly conduct, a charge that can be filed in Illinois when a person lies to police, The Associated Press reported. He was sentenced to 150 days in jail. He spent just six days in jail before he was released to await his appeal.

In the “Empire” star’s appeal, Smollett’s attorneys argued that the filing of new criminal charges against Smollett constituted double jeopardy.

According to the Tribune, they said that because the charges were dropped, an agreement existed between Smollett and prosecutors that no further charges would be filed.

On Friday, the panel of judges ruled 2-1 that when Cook County prosecutors dropped the first felony charges, they did not say they would not file other charges.

“The record does not establish that Smollett entered into a nonprosecution agreement with the (Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office), in which the (office) agreed to forgo further prosecution of him in exchange for his performance of community service and the forfeiture of his bond,” the decision reads, according to the Tribune.

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