Jussie Smollett Slapped With 16 Felony Charges, May Spend Decades In Jail

Just one of the felony charges carries the a three-year sentence behind bars

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Actor has been indicted on 16 class four felony charges by a grand jury in relation to an alleged hate crime hoax.

The Empire star was arrested last month February 19 on one count of felony disorderly conduct for filing a false police report, claiming he had been attacked by racists outside his apartment in Chicago, Illinois on January 29 – and now his legal problems have doubled with the indictments.

According to TMZ, a grand jury multiplied the amount of charges against Smollett on Thursday, increasing the total to 16.

The jury members reportedly tallied up the citations for each lie he allegedly told in the initial police report he submitted and the subsequent interview with cops about the attack, that law enforcement officers now insist was a hoax.

“Jussie Smollett knew that at the time… there was no reasonable ground for believing that such offenses had been committed,” the latest indictment document obtained by CBS 2 Chicago reads.

Just one of the felony charges carries the a three-year sentence behind bars if Smollett is convicted, which means the 36 year old could potentially spend decades in jail.

Smollett is set to be arraigned on March 14, 2019.

Jussie told police two white men yelling homophobic and racist slurs assaulted him as he made on his way home from a sandwich shop in the middle of the night, but law enforcement officials claim the star paid two Nigerian brothers he knew from his work on the Empire set $3,500 (£3,000) to attack him – allegations the actor has strenuously denied.

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