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Jussie Smollett Pleads Not Guilty to Latest Charges in Alleged 2019 Attack

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Jussie Smollett pleaded not guilty Monday to the latest charges of disorderly conduct. The former "Empire" actor is accused of staging a hate crime against himself in 2019.

Special prosecutor Dan Webb requested $10,000 bail, but Cook County Judge James Linn determined Smollett is not a flight risk. Smollett was granted recognizance bond and is due back in court March 18, CBS Chicago reports.

Smollett was charged with six counts of disorderly conduct earlier this month for allegedly lying to police about being the victim of a hate crime. Chicago police claim that Smollett — who is openly gay — paid two brothers to stage a homophobic and racist attack against him on January 29, 2019. Smollett's attorneys are seeking to have the charges dismissed on double jeopardy grounds.

"One of the protections that the double jeopardy clause provides is not to punish somebody twice for the same offense," said Smollett's attorney, Tina Glandian. "Previously, he did forfeit his bond in the amount of $10,000. That in essence was a punishment stemming from the criminal proceedings, and therefore trying to punish him again a second time around is not permitted under the double jeopardy clause. You don't just get a do over."

Smollett was charged with disorderly conduct in February 2019 as a result of the alleged hoax. Smollett pleaded not guilty to those charges as well. The original charges were dropped abruptly March 26.

A special prosecutor was later appointed to the case, and following another investigation, a grand jury indicted Smollett on the latest charges. Smollett's attorneys have appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court to vacate the decision to appoint the special prosecutor.

The two brothers Smollett allegedly paid to carry out the attack — Ola and Abel Osundairo — were at Smollett's arraignment Monday.

"They are here because they want the truth to be told," their lawyer, Gloria Schmidt Rodriguez, said. "They are here because they are confident in the work that the Chicago Police Department and the special prosecutor's office put into this investigation. To anyone out there that thinks they got some kind of immunity or some kind of plea deal out of this, that's incorrect."

"The brothers want the public to know that they were honest, and open, and remorseful about their conduct in this entire event. They have been truthful since day one," Rodriguez added.

— Originally Published by CBS News

 

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