Major development in the Chicago police department’s investigation into Jussie Smollett: new reports indicate that a Cook County grand jury has returned a 16-count indictment against the actor.
According to ABC7 Chicago, the Cook County State Attorney's Office officially confirmed the news, specifying that the grand jury returned the indictment on Thursday.
As previously reported, the Empire star was initially charged with one felony count of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report by the Cook County State's Attorney's Office back on February 20, 2019.
Following their deliberations, the grand jury has reportedly returned with 16 felony counts against the actor for the same charge.
It is reported that the jury returned two separate sets of charges with the first stemming from Smollett's report to officers regarding his alleged attack. It included claims that his attackers hurled racial and homophobic slurs at him, physically assaulted him, put a noose around his neck and poured a chemical substance on his body.
The second set of charges relates to the second interview the actor had with the cops about the reported attack, later that same day.
Each charge is said to carry a potential sentence of probation to four years behind bars.
Smollett already pleaded not guilty to the initial charge of disorderly conduct and was taken into custody. He posted $100,000 bond.
Despite these recent developments, the site states that, based on experts' analysis, Smollett could strike a plea deal and may not spend any time in prison.