Jussie Smollett has been hit with an additional 15 counts of filing a false police report by a grand jury and is now facing up to 48 years behind bars.
The Empire actor was initially charged with one Class 4 Felony charge of disorderly conduct last month but a grand jury has applied that charge 15 times over in an 36-page indictment that was returned on Thursday.
Now, he is facing a maximum sentence of 48 years behind bars and fines of up to $400,000. He is expected to cut a plea deal with authorities, according to experts cited by ABC.
Neither Smollett’s legal team nor Cook County prosecutors have commented on the new indictment which was first reported by CWB.
DailyMail.com obtained a copy of it. It divides the 15 new charges into two sets.
Counts one to seven apply to the comments he made to police officer Muhammed Baig, who first responded to his apartment when his friend called 911 on January 29.
The second set applies to Detective Kim Murray who interviewed him later that day.
Jussie Smollett reported that one of his attackers was a male white, in dark clothingGrand Jury indictment
She is who Smollett told, according to the indictment, that one of his attackers was a ‘white male’.
He told Baig that he had been attacked by two ‘unknown males’ who were dressed in black. One was wearing a ski mask and they called him ‘racial and homophobic slurs’, he said.
Smollett told Baig they hit him ‘about the face’ with their hands and poured an ‘unknown chemical substance’ onto them. Later, in his interview with Kim Murray that he ‘fought back’.
The indictment reads: ‘Jussie Smollett reported that one of his attackers was a male white, in dark clothing.’
The actor has not been charged for allegedly sending himself a threatening letter days before the attack, as police have alleged.
Smollett is accused of hiring brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo to beat him up outside his apartment on January 29 in what he later described to police as a racist and homophobic attack.
The brothers say he paid them $3500 to do it and that he promised them an additional $500 which they would get when they came home from a trip to Nigeria.
They say Smollett’s motive was that he wanted a higher salary on Empire.
The actor went on Good Morning America before he was arrested where he cried and insisted he was telling the truth amid a swelling tide of public cynicism. Fox has said it is ‘considering its options’ in light of Smollett’s arrest.
He will not appear in the final two episodes of Empire that are to be shown later this year. On Friday, after the indictment was returned, the network declined to comment.
The actor’s lawyers say he has been the victim of police and prosecutorial misconduct.
They say his presumption of innocence was ‘trampled’ and that the entire investigation into the attack has been flawed.