The Illinois Supreme Court on Friday denied former Empire actor Jussie Smollett’s request to halt the proceedings against him and disqualify the special prosecutor appointed in his case.
The emergency motion requested by Smollett’s attorney was denied with no explanation given, according to documents from the Illinois Supreme Court.
On Monday, Feb. 24, Smollett entered a plea of not guilty to new charges brought by a special prosecutor, alleging he staged a racist and homophobic attack on himself last year.
Smollett was charged for a second time in the ongoing case on Feb. 11, this time on six counts of disorderly conduct for “making four separate false reports to Chicago Police Department officers related to his false claims that he was the victim of a hate crime, knowing that he was not the victim of a crime,” Special Prosecutor Dan Webb said in a statement at the time.
Smollett first reported he was the victim of a racist and anti-gay attack in Chicago in January 2019. Police later alleged Smollett staged the attack because he was dissatisfied with his salary.
Police at the time said Smollett paid two brothers $3,500 to carry out the staged attack. Evidence, including text messages and video surveillance, emerged of the brothers communicating with Smollett days before the alleged attack. One of the brothers, fitness trainer Abimbola Osundairo, appeared on Smollett’s show at the time “Empire.”
Smollett was charged on Feb. 20, 2019, with 16 counts of disorderly conduct for filing a false report, but in a surprising move, all charges against him were then dropped by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.
The actor agreed to community service and to forfeit his $10,000 bond to the City of Chicago. The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office said wiping Smollett’s record was a “just disposition and appropriate resolution” but noted they “did not exonerate” him.
On Feb. 24, Smollett’s attorney, Tina Glandian, filed a motion to dismiss the indictment for a violation of the Double Jeopardy Clause—which prohibits anyone from being prosecuted twice for the same crime. Glandian also filed a motion seeking a supervisory order and a stay from the Illinois Supreme Court, challenging the authority to appoint a special prosecutor in the first place. That motion was denied Friday.
When Smollett was indicted by a grand jury on Feb. 11, Webb said his investigation concluded “further prosecution of Jussie Smollett is ‘in the interest of justice.'”
[via NBC Chicago]