ENTERTAINMENT

Jussie Smollett could be prosecuted ‘again’ for ‘staging hoax attack’ as judge orders special prosecutor to examine the case

A judge looking into the handling of the Jussie Smollett case has ruled that a special prosecutor be appointed and, if necessary, they ought to bring charges against the Empire actor again.

Judge Michael Toomin made the decision on Friday, Smollett’s 37th birthday, after months of legal back and forth and criticism of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s handling of the case.

In a strongly-worded rebuke of how she handled the case, he slammed the ‘unprecedented irregularities’ in it and said the public’s faith had to be restored in the justice system. Foxx stunningly dropped all 16 felony charges against Smollett in March despite them being agreed upon by a grand jury and he was allowed to go free after a $10,000 bail payment and 16 hours of community service.

She has since been accused of misconduct and it has emerged that she exchanged text messages with members of his family and representatives for them in the early stages of the investigation.

Since Foxx dropped the charges, there have been multiple efforts to have the case looked over. In his 21-page decision on Friday, Judge Toomin said: ‘If reasonable grounds exist to further prosecute Smollett, in the interest of justice the special prosecutor may take such action.

‘The unprecedented irregularities identified in this case warrants the appointment of independent counsel to restore the public’s confidence in the integrity of our criminal justice system.  There was no master on the bridge to guide the ship as it floundered through unchartered waters. And it ultimately lost its bearings,’ he said.

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