Jussie Smollett trial begins Monday nearly three years after alleged hate crime hoax

The criminal trial for former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett selected its jury on Monday morning nearly three years after he staged a racist and homophobic hate crime attack against himself on the streets of Chicago in 2019.

Smollett was ordered to stand trial after a Chicago Judge denied the actor’s request to dismiss the case last month.

The actor is facing six counts of felony disorderly conduct for falsifying statements to police after allegedly setting up a fake crime hate crime where two men wearing “Make America Great Again” hats supposedly attacked Smollett by tying a noose around his neck while yelling racist and homophobic slurs at him.

After an extensive police investigation into the attack, law enforcement quickly revealed that Smollett hired two Nigerian brothers to pretend to attack him for $3,500. Smollett was then charged with staging the attack, according to Breitbart.

The actor’s trial was delayed numerous times after charges against him were dropped by State Attorney Kim Foxx’s office in 2019 and then refiled in 2020 by a special prosecutor assigned to the case.

Smollet has pleaded not guilty to the class four felony charges and faces a maximum prison time of three years. Experts, however, claim it’s more likely the actor will only be placed on probation if found guilty.

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