A judge on March 10 sentenced actor Jussie Smollett to 30 months of felony probation, including 150 days in jail, for falsely reporting to police that he was a victim of a hate crime in January 2019.
Cook County Judge James also ordered Smollett to pay restitution of $120,106 to the city of Chicago and a maximum $25,000 fine.
A jury found Smollett guilty last December on five counts of felony disorderly conduct for making false reports about what he said was a racist, homophobic attack.
“You’re not a victim of a racial hate crime. You’re not a victim of a homophobic hate crime. You’re just a charlatan pretending to be a victim of a hate crime, and that’s shameful,” Linn told Smollett while handing down the sentence.
However, Smollett maintained his innocence.
“Your honor, I respect you and I respect the jury. But I did not do this, and I am not suicidal — and if anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it to myself,” Smollett said after the sentencing.
Smollett, a Black and gay actor best known for his role in the TV show “Empire”, reported to Chicago police in 2019 that two unknown men assaulted him in Streeterville neighborhood.
After an investigation, police accused Smollett of recruiting the two men to stage the attack to advance his career.
Smollet’s defense team argued that the guilty verdict should be overturned and requested a new trial based on “numerous trial errors leading up to the trial and during the pendency of the trial.”
Linn refused the defense’s request for a new trial, saying, “The only crime that was at play in this entire scenario was the false police report.”
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