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Charges were initially brought against Smollett after authorities believed he had faked the attack in an effort to enhance his acting career. He was indicted on 16 counts of disorderly conduct.
Authorities said Smollett had paid two individuals, $3500 each to stage the attack that was caught on camera.
However in March of 2019 the charges were dropped abruptly by authorities and his record wiped clean and in exchange Smollett agreed to let the city keep his $10,000 bail and do community service. The charges were dropped just five weeks after they had been filed.
There was a lot of backlash from the mayor and police chief about why prosecutors dropped the charges that they said they could prove in court.
“Where is the accountability in the system? You cannot have, because of a person’s position, one set of rules apply to them and another set of rules apply to everybody else.”
– Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
Dan Webb was the special prosecutor assigned to the case by a Cook County judge after the charges had been dropped.
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