Jussie Smollett indicted on 16 felony counts in alleged hate crime hoax

Jussie Smollett after bond posting

"Jussie Smollett knew that at the time of this transmission there was no reasonable ground for believing that such offenses had been committed", the indictment states.

The actor, who is black and gay, claimed two men attacked him and tied a noose around his neck on January 29.

The Chicago Police Department faces an internal investigation of their own after salacious details of Smollett's case continued to leak during the investigation.

The indictment says Smollett told police he was attacked by two men who used racial and homophobic slurs during an attack at 2 a.m. "He was taken into custody and posted $100,000 bond to be freed".

Two days after the alleged attack, Chicago police released surveillance images of two people they said they considered persons of interest in the attack.

These charges are in addition to the "felony disorderly conduct - false report" Smollett was hit with last month.

The second set of charges is related to the second interview Smollett did with cops about the alleged attack later that day.

What do you think about the Jussie Smollett case and the additional charges?

The Cook County State's Attorney's Office previously charged him with one count of disorderly conduct on February 20, ABC7 noted - he pleaded not guilty.

"We intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defence". The actor will be arraigned Friday, March 14, to formally hear the charges and enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. Smollett, who is black and gay, said the men shouted racist and homophobic slurs while punching him, kicking him and putting a noose around his neck. Smollett has denied playing a role in the attack.

The multiple counts highlight different aspects of Smollett's allegedly phony story, including claims that his attackers beat him, poured a chemical substance on him and put a rope around his neck. Each one of the charges carries a maximum count of four years in prison, meaning he could face 64 years in total.