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Jussie Smollett to be sentenced on March 10 for lying to police | KTA

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CHICAGO (AP) — Jussie Smollett, who was convicted last month of lying to police about a racist and homophobic attack authorities said he staged, will return to court to be sentenced on March 10, said said a judge on Thursday.

Cook County Judge James Linn set a Chicago sentencing date for the former ‘Empire’ actor, who told the judge he was in New York, during a Zoom hearing .

Smollett was convicted by a jury Dec. 9 of five counts of disorderly conduct under a subsection of the law that prohibits making false reports to police. He was acquitted on a sixth count.

Smollett, who is black and gay, has maintained throughout the nearly three-year legal battle that he was attacked in downtown Chicago in January 2019 by people who shouted racial and anti-gay slurs. and put a noose around his neck. He denied during the trial that he had organized the attack.

Although the charges carry a three-year prison sentence, legal experts said Smollett is unlikely to face jail time for the low-level crimes and would be more likely to be sentenced to a probation and ordered to perform community service.

Meanwhile, the prosecutions that were pending the outcome of the criminal case can now go ahead. They include a lawsuit the city of Chicago filed against Smollett to recover more than $130,000 he spent investigating what police initially believed was a terrible hate crime.

During Smollett’s trial, two brothers testified that Smollett paid them $3,500 for the prank and gave them shouting lines, including about “MAGA country,” an apparent reference to the slogan “Make America Great Again.” by President Donald Trump.

The report made headlines around the world and sparked a massive manhunt in Chicago, with around two dozen police officers joining the investigation.

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Check out the AP’s full coverage of the Jussie Smollett case.

Jussie Smollett to be sentenced on March 10 for lying to police | KTA

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