The ‘Empire‘ star who was arraigned before a court in Chicago on Thursday, March 14, 2019, pleaded not guilty to all 16 count charges. His plea was entered by one of his lawyers, Tina Glandian.
Prior to the arraignment, Judge Steven G. Watkins was assigned to oversee Smollett’s case. Watkins made a small change to the terms of Smollett’s bond, saying he will allow Smollett to travel Los Angeles and New York to meet with attorneys without first formally seeking court approval.
Jussie Smollett is expected to appear before the court again on Wednesday, April 17, 2019. A few days ago, Jussie Smollett was indicted in all 16 count charges leveled against him including, lying to the police about his alleged attack.
Jussie Smollett gets indicted on 16 counts of felony for allegedly lying to the police
A Cook County grand jury in Chicago has indicted US television actor Jussie Smollett, on 16 counts of felony after filing a false report that he was assaulted in a perceived homophobic attack.
The new charges were announced on Friday, March 8, 2019, according to ABC News, who also confirmed that they were laid out in separate groups.
First is from his conversation with the police about being the subject of racial and homophobic slurs, getting physically assaulted and having a rope around his neck in addition with exposure to a chemical substance. The second is related to another interview with the police describing the incident.
Jussie Smollett’s lawyer is Mark Geragos who has represented the likes of Chris Brown and Michael Jackson. He has described the 16 counts of felony as “prosecutorial overkill” and a “desperate attempt to make headlines in order to distract from the internal [CPD] investigation launched to investigate the … leaking of false information” in a report by ABC.