The development comes just hours after Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted that detectives were presenting evidence before a Cook County grand jury.
Following an earlier announcement that he was considered a suspect by Chicago police for filing a false police report about an alleged attack on Jan. 29, Empire star Jussie Smollett was charged with federal disorderly conduct on Wednesday, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office confirmed.
The charge is likely a class 4 felony, which carries a potential sentence of one to three years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. According to the relevant section of the Illinois statute, such a charge occurs when a person makes a report of a crime to peace officer while knowing that the information isn’t true, doesn’t have the “reasonable grounds necessary” to believe that it will contribute to the public’s safety or calls 911 with a “false alarm or complaint.”
The development comes just hours after Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted that detectives were presenting evidence before a Cook County grand jury. Fox, 20th Century Fox Television and representatives for Smollett declined to comment on the new classification.
Earlier on Wednesday, Fox and 20th Century Fox TV renewed its defense of the Empire actor, writing in a statement, “Jussie Smollett continues to be a consummate professional on set and as we have previously stated, he is not being written out of the show.”
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