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Jussie Smollett case: Prosecutor who dropped charges believes he lied to the police



"We believe he did what he was charged with doing," he said. "This was not an exoneration. To say he was exonerated by us or anyone else is not true."

He said charges are dropped in thousands of cases, but Smollet's case is getting scrutinized because he is a celebrity.

"There are plenty of other cases … over 5,700 who have received some type of alternative or deferred type of prosecution involving a dismissal at the end of the case," he said. "

 Jussie Smollett leaves a Chicago courthouse after charges against him were dropped. </p>
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</script></div>9659005] Jussie Smollett leaves a Chicago courthouse after charges against him were dropped

Brothers were 'fully prepared' to testify

The story of what happened to Smollett on that chilly night on January 29 has transfixed the nation for almost two months.

Smollett told police that two men were targeting him about 2 am, tied and rope around his neck and poured a chemical substance on him

As they attacked the actor, who is gay, they used homophobic and racial slurs, he said at the time. Police spent days scouring through surveillance footage and eventually narrowed their search for suspects to two brothers who knew Smollett. After questioning the men, police later said the actor had paid them to stage the attack as a way to gain publicity.

 The many twists and turns in the Jussie Smollett investigation

In the weeks since the alleged attack, the actor was arrested and charged with lying to the police about a hate crime, turning him from a victim to a suspect and then a defendant within weeks.

Gloria Schmidt, the attorney for the brothers, Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, said they were "fully prepared" to testify in Smollett's case. After the decision to drop the case, the attorney said via a publicist that she no longer represented the brothers as trial witnesses in the criminal matter.

When she announced the charges last month, police superintendent Eddie Johnson said Smollett paid the brothers $ 3,500 to

Days before the assault, Smollett allegedly tried to gain attention by sending a false letter to his set of his show. It contained racial, homophobic and political language, along with a white powder and a drawing of a stick figure hanging from a tree, police said.

 Patricia Brown Holmes, the attorney for Jussie Smollett.

Chicago divided over decision to drop charges

The case has sparked political discord in one of America's largest cities.

While the actor's attorneys hailed the dropping of the case as vindication, the city's top officials issued stern statements slamming what they described as a hoax.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the actor falsely reported a hate crime to advance his acting career.

 As Jussie Smollett proclaims innocence, mayor and police chief take aim at "whitewash of justice"

"A grand jury saw the evidence (and) realized this was a hoax – a hoax on the city, a hoax on hate crimes, and a hoax on people of good values ​​who were actually empathetic at first," he said. "And he used that empathy for only one reason … himself."

He described it as a "whitewash of justice" that sends a message that people with power and influence are held to a different standard. The police union has called for a federal investigation into State Attorney Kim Foxx over her involvement in the case and text messages she exchanged with Smollett's family friends before she recused herself in mid-February

Smollett's attorney, Patricia Brown Holmes, told CNN's Don

"There was no political influence in this case," she said.

She said city officials are upset because they did not know the state's attorney was going to drop the case. She said it was not the responsibility of the defense team to let them know.

She also accused the police of leaking incomplete and inaccurate information to the media. "The public took that information and treated it as if it was true," she said.

But when the Magats dropped the charges, he said the Chicago Police Department "did a phenomenal job" in the investigation

"We stand behind the work that they did. the case, "he said.

 " A grand jury saw the evidence (and) realized this was a hoax, " Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.

16 hours of community service and $ 10K

Smollett had to forfeit his bond and do community service, "Magats said.

He agreed to forfeit the $ 10,000 bond and performed a total of 16 hours of voluntary service Saturday and Monday for the Rainbow Push Coalition, which was founded by Rev. Jesse Jackson.

 Stunning reversal in Jussie Smollett's case leaves many unanswered questions
"It may not have been the disposition that everyone thought would occur," Magats told the affiliate. "

His attorneys maintain the actor was attacked in Chicago on January 29 and that misinformation led to a rush to judgment against him.

After the charges were formally dropped, Smollett told reporters he was thankful to everyone who stood by him. He maintained his innocence, saying he would not put his family "through a fire like this" for a lie

"I've been truthful and consistent on every single level since Day One," he said before leaving the court building. "

Smollett said he wanted to move on with his life and continue to fight for justice, equality and marginalized people.

CNN's Steve Almasy, Jason Hanna and Sheena Jones contributed to this report.


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