Jussie Smollett‘s attempt to have the charges against him thrown out has been rejected by the Illinois Supreme Court. The court ruled that Smollett would have to stand trial on charges that accuse him of staging a racist, homophobic attack against him, according to Fox News. The court also ruled that the special prosecutor focused on the case could remain in his role.
Smollett‘s lawyers initially argued that Cook County Circuit Judge Michael Toomin had misinterpreted the law when he ordered the appointment of a special prosecutor.
Smollett’s first round of charges for allegedly staging the crime was dismissed, in part because Toomin found it invalid. After Toomin accepted a petition to reopen the investigation and appointed a special prosecutor, a six-month investigation into the case began. Eventually, six counts of disorderly conduct were filed against the former Empire star. Smollett pleaded not guilty to the charges last week in court.
The bond in the case was set at $20,000, according to UPI. Smollett was then released on his own recognizance and told to return to court on March 18. Smollett has maintained his innocence throughout the case and says that the police have overlooked witnesses who would corroborate his story.
Smollett initially told the police that two masked men had attacked him while he was walking home in Chicago on January 29, 2019. The actor, who is gay and black, said that his attackers had made racist and homophobic insult toward him as they beat him. Smollett also said that the masked men looped a noose around his neck before leaving him in the street and that they told him he was in “MAGA” country.
Weeks after the incident was initially reported, Chicago police alleged that Smollett had staged the incident because he was unhappy with his salary on Empire. The police alleged that Smollett paid two friends who are bodybuilders and aspiring actors to help him stage the attack.
According to the Associated Press, the city of Chicago has also sued Smollett for $130,000, claiming that they are owed for the overtime paid to police officers who were investigating Smollett’s initial charges. Smollett’s attorneys have argued that the city should not be allowed to take this sum, in part because they already accepted $10,000 from the actor “as payment in full in connection with the dismissal of the charges against him.”
The AP said it was not immediately clear what kind of sentence Smollett would face if he was convicted.