On Thursday, a jury in Chicago found Jussie Smollett guilty of five of the six allegations against him, resulting in his arrest.
The former “Empire” star has been accused of filing a false police report alleging that he was the victim of a hate crime that occurred in January of this year.
The verdict was reached after over ten hours of debate over two days by a panel of six men and six women who deliberated together.
These offenses are crimes in the fourth degree, which carries a sentence of up to three years in jail. Given Smollett’s lack of a criminal record, it is uncertain whether he will be sentenced to spend time in prison for his actions.
While testifying at his trial, Smollett, who is gay and of African-American descent, claimed that he was attacked by two masked men while walking home at 2 a.m. The actor said the men punched him and yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him before pouring a chemical liquid on him and wrapping a rope around his neck before fleeing.
Earlier this year, two brothers, Ola and Abel Osundairo, were apprehended on suspicion of being involved in the attack. In their statement to police, the Osundairos claimed that Smollett had written them a check for $3,500 to be used in the alleged attack.
Smollett claimed that the $3,500 check was delivered to the brothers for meal and workout programs, which was denied by the judge. His attorneys said that the brothers made up the allegation about the attack being staged and that they would only testify against Smollett if they were each paid $1 million. The brothers refused to testify against Smollett unless they were each paid $1 million.
As stated by special prosecutor Dan Webb before the jury, Smollett’s actions forced the Chicago police to expend a significant amount of resources investigating a crime that they believe was staged.