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Former 'Empire' Star Jussie Smollett Failed To Get Charges Dropped

Gettyimages | Nuccio DiNuzzo
By Adreon Patterson

The Illinois Supreme Court rejected former Empire actor Jussie Smollett's request to drop the renewed charges against him.

He was indicted on felony charges in connection to the January 2019 staged homophobic and racist attack. Along with rejecting to drop the charges, the court also rejected Smollett's bid to remove the special prosecutor on the case.

Since the alleged incident in 2019, the actor has maintained his innocence, claiming the hate crime was not staged and that the Chicago Police Department's charges were false.

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The Chicago Tribune reported that the former Empire actor's attorneys called for an emergency motion. During the motion, they argued that Cook County Circuit Judge Michael Toomin had overstepped his authority and misinterpreted the law by ordering the appointment of a special prosecutor last year after the charges were reopened.

They stated that the statute Toomin cited in appointing a special prosecutor can only be invoked if the state's attorney filed a formal petition for recusal, which they mentioned never happened.

Wikimedia | https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jussie_Smollett_(26362136311).jpg

"(If) there, in fact, had been a defect in the authority to prosecute Mr. Smollett, the only person who could properly challenge the validity of the proceedings would be Mr. Smollett — and he has not done so," the motion stated in part.

Smollett's attorneys argued that the state Supreme Court should throw out the order for a special prosecutor along with the charges.

IThe argument did not work in the attorney's favor as the court rejected the motion without explanation. With that, Smollett is set to appear in court on March 18.

Gettyimages | Nuccio DiNuzzo

After facing charges were dropped last year, special prosecutor Dan Webb confirmed in February that a Cook County grand jury had returned a six-count indictment of disorderly conduct.

The indictment charged the actor with four counts of making false reports to Chicago Police Department officers "related to his false claims that he was the victim of a hate crime, knowing that he was not the victim of a crime."

In response at the time, Smollett's attorney Tina Glandian stated that the "indictment raises serious questions about the integrity of the investigation."

Gettyimages | Theo Wargo

"After more than five months of investigation, the Office of the Special Prosecutor has not found any evidence of wrongdoing whatsoever related to the dismissal of the charges against Mr. Smollett," Glandian's statement to [Entertainment Tonight}(https://www.etonline.com/jussie-smolletts-legal-team-responds-to-new-indictment-for-alleged-attack-141397) read.

"Rather, the charges were appropriately dismissed the first time because they were not supported by the evidence," Glandian continued. "The attempt to re-prosecute Mr. Smollett one year later on the eve of the Cook County State's Attorney election is clearly all about politics not justice."

Gettyimages | VALERIE MACON

Smollett made his first court appearance in connection with the new indictment on February 24. During his court appearance, he pleaded not guilty to all charges.

At the time of his plea, Smollett had been given a $20,000 personal recognizance bond. On March 18, he has been scheduled to appear again in front of a Cook County judge.

With Smollet's legal troubles, he is not set to appear on the final ten episodes of the drama series Empire's final season.

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