Actor Jussie Smollett appears to finally be headed to trial after the judge in his Cook County, Illinois case denied his motion to dismiss the charges against him, alleging he lied to Chicago police about being the victim of a fictitious hate crime. Judge James Lynn has set jury selection for the trial to begin on November 29.
Smollett is charged with falsely claiming that he was attacked in the early morning hours in January 2019 on a Chicago street after buying a sandwich at a Subway store. He claimed two masked men poured an unknown liquid on him and placed a noose around his neck while shouting “This is MAGA Country” at him.
It later came to light that the two alleged attackers were Nigerian brothers who were paid $3,500 to play roles in a staged attack. Smollett was even seen still holding his sandwich when police arrived after his call for assistance.
The gay actor’s last chance effort to avoid the trial was denied by Judge Lynn on Friday when his attorney told the court that the prosecutors were violating Smollett’s rights because he had already surrendered a $10,000 bond and performed community service under a previous deal to have charges dropped. His attorney said that “a deal is a deal.”
However, the judge found that Smollett’s case is now being handled by a special prosecutor who was appointed after the “deal” by another judge. Judge Lynn said that he was not prepared to overturn that arrangement. The original case of lying to police was revived when the special prosecutor now in charge of Smollett’s case with disorderly conduct due to the original police reports.
Even though his attorney went forward with the unsuccessful motion to dismiss the case last week, he told the court that there is “nothing Smollett wants more” than to go before a jury to “clear his name.”