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Empire actor Jussie Smollett has been charged with 16 felony counts of felony disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report.

It is reported that the jury returned two separate sets of charges with the first stemming from Smollett's report to officers regarding his alleged attack.

The actor filed the police report in January after claiming that two men attacked him while yelling homophobic and pro-Trump slurs at him.

The expanded charges focus on the allegedly false statements he made to two Chicago police officers about the incident.

"A conviction on any count could lead to a sentence ranging from probation to up to three years in prison", the Chicago Tribune reports.

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Last month Smollett, 36, was charged with disorderly conduct and eventually released after he paid a $10,000 bond on the $100,000 bail set by a Chicago judge.

Smollett surrendered to police on February 21 and has remained free on $100,000 bond.

Smollett has denied all allegations. The brothers told authorities they were paid by the actor to participate in staging the attack.

Actor and singer Jussie Smollett said he was attacked in Chicago by two masked men who used derogatory language and put a rope around his neck.

But after several weeks of investigation, Chicago police said Smollett staged the attack.

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Jussie Smollett is shown in the hospital with the scratches police say he gave himself after the "attack", left.

Smollett's lawyer, Mark Geragos, blasted the indictment in a statement as "redundant and vindictive", adding that his client "adamantly maintains his innocence even if law enforcement has robbed him of that presumption". Smollett's alleged attackers were also fans of Donald Trump who went so far as to inform Smollett that "This is MAGA country!" - a reference to the president's "Make America Great Again" slogan.

The US President initially called the alleged attack "horrible" but took to Twitter to condemn Smollett's "racist and unsafe comments".

Police have said they are no longer considered suspects.

Smollett is scheduled to be arraigned on March 14, however, ABC 7 reported that experts believe it is likely he will strike a plea deal and potentially not spend time in prison.

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He also accused Mr Smollett of taking "advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career".


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