A sentencing date has been set for former “Empire” star Jussie Smollett, who last month was convicted on five of six felony disorderly conduct charges for orchestrating a hoax hate crime against himself.
Over a Zoom call Thursday, Cook County Judge James Linn said Smollett, his attorneys and special prosecutors must appear in person for a March 10 hearing to handle sentencing and any post-trial motions from the defense.
A jury in December found Smollett guilty on five of six disorderly conduct counts for lying to Chicago police.
Smollett claimed to be the victim of a January 2019 attack by two men near his Streeterville apartment. He said the men yelled racist and homophobic slurs before they hit him in his face, poured “an unknown chemical substance” on him and wrapped a rope around his neck.
Prosecutors at trial relied on the testimony of Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, the two brothers Smollett allegedly paid to fake the attack on him.
Thursday’s hearing occurred almost exactly three years to the day after that incident took place.
Linn gave Smollett’s attorneys until Feb. 25 to file any post-trial motions on their client’s behalf. Lead defense attorney Nenye Uche previously said his client intends to appeal his conviction.
Attorneys for the prosecution and defense also have until March 3 to submit any witnesses they plan to call to testify at sentencing. Linn said he expects the March 10 hearing to be the final in-person date in this case.
Smollett could potentially face prison time following his conviction, though it’s possible he is sentenced to probation.
Special Prosecutor Dan Webb told WTTW News last month that although some “want to minimize what (Smollett) did … he engaged in substantial, serious criminal misconduct.”