Smollett Attorney: 16 Felony Indictment Is ‘Vindictive’

Feb 12, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; [CAPTION] during the second half at Wintrust Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nuccio DiNuzzo-USA TODAY Sports
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - FEBRUARY 21: Empire actor Jussie Smollett leaves Cook County jail after posting bond on February 21, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Smollett has been accused with arranging a homophobic, racist attac... CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - FEBRUARY 21: Empire actor Jussie Smollett leaves Cook County jail after posting bond on February 21, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Smollett has been accused with arranging a homophobic, racist attack against himself in an attempt to raise his profile because he was dissatisfied with his salary. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) MORE LESS

CHICAGO (AP) — An attorney for Jussie Smollett says a 16-count indictment against the “Empire” actor is “vindictive” and Smollett “maintains his innocence.”

Mark Geragos says in a statement that he did not expect a Cook County grand jury would charge Smollet with 16 separate counts and the indictment is “prosecutorial overkill.”

He says the indictment “is nothing more than a desperate attempt to make headlines in order to distract from the internal investigation launched to investigate the outrageous leaking of information by the Chicago Police Department and the shameless and illegal invasion of Jussie’s privacy.”

Smollett is charged with disorderly conduct for making a false report of an attack on him in Chicago. Police say Smollett staged the attack and recruited two brothers to participate. Local media have reported that the Chicago Police Department is investigating leaks to reporters during the investigation of the reported attack.

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