Actor Jussie Smollett found guilty of falsely reporting a hate crime against himself in 2019

A Chicago jury reached guilty verdicts Thursday on five of six charges against "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett, who was accused of falsely reporting that he was the victim of a disturbing, hate-fueled beating.

The panel, which had deliberated since Wednesday afternoon, weighed six counts of felony disorderly conduct against Smollett for telling police that he was brutally assaultedat 2:45 a.m. Jan. 29, 2019, in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood.

The offenses are class 4 felonies and could be punishable by up to three years behind bars. But Smollett has a clean criminal record, making any jail time highly unlikely.

Dan Webb, the special prosecutor selected to lead the case, said the sixth charge was an aggravated battery charge. He said after the verdict that he was proud of the jury, characterizing Smollett's defense as a "completely ridiculous story."

He also defended the Chicago Police Department's response to Smollett's initial report of a hate crime.

"For the next three weeks, these 26 Chicago officers spent 3,000 hours of time costing the city well over $100,000 for a fake crime that never occurred," Webb said. "And by the way, a fake crime that denigrates what a real-hate crime is and to use these meanings and symbols that are so important in our society. It's clear why the police would take it seriously."

Smollett’s defense attorney said they will appeal, calling his client "an innocent man."

"We feel 100 percent confident that this case will be won on appeal," lawyer Nenye Uche said. Smollett is disappointed and is confident his name will be cleared, Uche said.

Smollett left court without answering shouted questions from reporters.

Smollett said two men punched him, kicked him, used racist and homophobic slurs, threw chemicals in his face, wrapped rope around his neck and even yelled out a slogan in support of then-President Donald Trump.

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