Jussie Smollett heads to court on new charges, claims he’s victim of ‘dog and pony show’

Television actor Jussie Smollet returned to court in Chicago on Wednesday to face charges concerning an alleged 2019 “hate crime” incident, in what he called a “dog and pony show.”

The former “Empire” actor was accused of faking a racist, homophobic attack against himself in January 2019. The allegations led to six counts of disorderly conduct that were dropped two months later by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office, according to WBBM-TV. However, the charges have again been raised against Smollett.

The actor claimed two masked men approached him as he was walking home on Jan. 29, 2019, and “made racist and homophobic insults, beat him and looped a noose around his neck before fleeing,” Fox News reported. However, the account has since been discredited by the two men Smollett reportedly paid to conduct the “racist and homophobic” assault — Abel and Ola Osundario.

The two men alleged that Smollett transferred the sum of $3,500 to them in exchange for the jumping, hoping to “raise his profile,” according to Fox News.

The actor called the charges brought against him a “dog and pony show,” the outlet reported.

Smollett has maintained his innocence and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Smollett’s attorneys said their client had performed community service and forfeited his $10,000 bond to get out from under the 2019 charges, and therefore any new charges violated his right against double jeopardy, according to WBBM.

Cook County Circuit Court Judge James Linn disagreed.

“There was no trial in this case, there was no jury empaneled, no witnesses were sworn, no evidence was heard, no guilty pleas were ever entered … nothing like that [ever] happened,” Linn said of the case, according to WGN-TV.

“There was no adjudication of this case.”

Linn said Smollett could not have paid any criminal penalty because, with the charges against the former “Empire” actor dropped, there was no penalty to pay.

“You cannot have any criminal penalty, whether it’s jail, probation, conditional discharge … none of that can be ordered on the innocent or presumed innocent or the unadjudicated,” Linn said, Deadline reported.

Linn also noted that Judge Michael Toomin said last year that due to the conduct of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, her office’s entire case against Smollett was invalid.

According to the Chicago Tribune, prosecutor Sean Wieber said no matter what deal Smollett reached with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, it was not part of any formal plea agreement.

“We know he didn’t participate in [deferred prosecution] and instead they say he effectively complied,” Wieber said.

“But effective compliance is no compliance at all, because there was no actual enrollment.”

Smollett has been recently criticized on Twitter concerning the case against him.

In rejecting Smollett’s bid for the charges against him to be thrown out, Linn said the court records for the day on which Cook County dropped charges against Smollett were highly irregular.

“I don’t know exactly how to describe it,” he said, according to the Tribune.

“I’ve never quite seen a transcript [or] anything like that. Perhaps clarity will come about that at some later date, there are maybe other people to address that … what didn’t happen is that double jeopardy attached to that proceeding.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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