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Jussie Smollett indicted on 16 felony counts

By Bill Kirkos and Sheena Jones, CNN

(CNN) -- "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett has been indicted on 16 felony counts by a Cook County grand jury.

The indictment charges Smollett with 16 counts of disorderly conduct.

Smollett reported to police in January that he had been attacked in Chicago in an incident that ended with a noose around his neck. Police initially investigated the case as a possible hate crime.

But after police detained two men who were "persons of interest," police sources revealed that police suspected Smollett knew the men and allegedly had paid them $3,500 to stage the attack.

Smollett has denied that any involvement in orchestrating an attack.

In February, Smollett was charged with felony disorderly conduct. The judge granted a $100,000 bail, and Smollett paid a $10,000 bond. He was ordered to give up his passport and will remain under supervision until his case is adjudicated.

"Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked. Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense," Smollett's attorneys said in February.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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