Jussie Smollett Indicted On 16 Felony Counts By Grand Jury

Jussie Smollett has been indicted by a Chicago grand jury on 16 felony counts, NBC News reports.

The new indictment divides the 15 new charges into two sets.

Jussie Smollett is now in even deeper legal water as an IL grand jury in Chicago has indicted the actor on 16 charges for falsely reporting a hate crime attack against him on January 29.

The indictment on Friday charges the Empire star with 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly making false reports, the Associated Press, CNN and CBS Chicago report.

The charges would run concurrently, so the sentencing range would still be one to three years in prison.

Smollett was first arrested on February 21, 2019, after authorities say he made a false report to Chicago police officer Muhammed Baig.

Police allege the brothers wore gloves during the incident and bruises and scratches on his face were self-inflicted. Donald Trump, Jr. said, "It appears that Jussie Smollett tried to manufacture a hate crime to make Trump supporters look bad, and most of the media not only uncritically accepted his lies as facts for weeks, but attacked those who questioned the validity of his false story". Smollett, who is black and gay, said the men shouted racist and homophobic slurs while punching him, kicking him and putting a noose around his neck.

More news: 'Alexis Sanchez could be finished at Manchester United'

The release of the indictment came after the Chicago Police Department said it started an internal investigation into how information about the alleged hate crime against Smollett was anonymously leaked to reporters.

Fox and representatives for Smollett did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's requests for comment.

Since initial reports emerged, Chicago PD now believes Smollett filed a fake police report and paid two men $3,500 to orchestrate the assault.

Many also say that Smollett should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and that if the State of IL case against Jussie Smollett is proved true, he should spend time behind bars.

Prosecutors also alleged that Smollett told the brothers what to say and provided them with a $100 bill to cover supplies, including rope, ski masks and red hats that resemble the MAGA sort.

Police also have said Smollett, who had told police he was on the phone with his manager at the time of the attack, refused to turn over his phone records to the investigators.

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