On Friday, a grand jury in Chicago indicted the 36-year old Empire actor on 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct after allegedly lying to police about being the victim of an attack on January 29, that was described as a racial and homophobic hate crime. Each of the 16 chargers Smollett faces carries a possible sentence of up to four years, meaning up to 64 years of imprisonment if found guilty on all counts. Most experts agree that Smollett will likely strike a plea bargain with could allow him to avoid jail time all together.
One of Smollett's attorneys Mark Geragos, told NBC News that the indictment was "the prosecutorial overkill. This redundant and vindictive indictment is nothing more than a desperate attempt to make headlines in order to distract from the internal investigation launched to investigate the outrageous leaking of false information by the Chicago Police Department and the shameless and illegal invasion of Jussie's privacy in tampering with his medical records."
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