They tried to get him off lightly for his false racism claim but it won't wash
Jussie Smollett will finally face a trial for his 2019 stunt in which he claimed he was the victim of a racist, homophobic attack in Chicago.
On Friday, Judge James Linn rejected arguments from the actor’s lawyer that the charges against him should be dismissed, according to Fox News.
The claim being made was that under a deal with Cook County prosecutors in which charges were dropped without a trial taking place, Smollett performed community service and forfeited a $10,000 bond.
However, amid a firestorm of controversy over the deal, a special prosecutor was appointed who levied additional charges of lying to police against Smollett. On Friday, Smollett’s attorney sought to wriggle out from under those.
To have Smollett “hauled back into court again” would violate Smollett’s due process rights, attorney Nenye Uche said, according to USA Today. “It’s as clear as day – this case should be dismissed because of an immunity agreement,” Uche said. “A deal is a deal. That’s ancient principle.”
Sean Wieber, an attorney with the special prosecutor’s office, said the claim should be “summarily dismissed.”
“We have already dealt with this before,” he said. “Nothing we’ve heard today changes one iota (of the case). This can be comfortably denied.”
Linn said that he had heard it all before and dismissed those claims, saying he would not change now. “I’m denying the motion to dismiss,” he said.
In a July hearing, Linn explained his reasoning. “There was no trial in this case, there was no jury empaneled, no witnesses were sworn, no evidence was heard, no guilty pleas were ever entered … nothing like that [ever] happened,” Linn said of the case, according to WGN-TV. “There was no adjudication of this case,” he said then.
Smollett’s trial will begin on Nov. 29.
Smollett claimed two masked men approached him as he was walking home on Jan. 29, 2019, and “made racist and homophobic insults, beat him and looped a noose around his neck before fleeing,” Fox News reported. However, the account has since been discredited by the two men Smollett reportedly paid to conduct the “racist and homophobic” assault — Abel and Ola Osundario.
The two men alleged that Smollett transferred the sum of $3,500 to them in exchange for the jumping, hoping to “raise his profile,” according to Fox News.
The actor called the charges brought against him a “dog and pony show,” the outlet reported.