“The grand jury’s investigation revealed that Jussie Smollett planned and participated in a staged hate crime attack, and thereafter made numerous false statements to Chicago Police Department officers on multiple occasions, reporting a heinous crime that he, in fact, knew had not occurred,” Webb said.
The former Empire cast member told police he was confronted Jan. 29, 2019, near his Chicago home by two masked attackers who poured a chemical substance on him, wrapped a rope around his neck and made comments suggesting that he, a gay African American, was unwelcome in the area.
Doubts about Smollett’s story led to the arrest of two men who were allegedly paid to perform a fake attack. A 16-count indictment against Smollett, which included a charge of felony disorderly conduct in relation to filing a false report, was later reduced to $10,000 and community service. The city later demanded $130,160 in a lawsuit for civil penalties, damages and attorney’s fees arising from the incident.
Smollett countersued the city of Chicago in November for malicious prosecution, saying the city filed criminal charges against him “without probable cause.”
Webb said the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office couldn’t give him evidence to explain why it dropped the 16 charges against Smollett last year.