A Chicago judge on Friday denied a request to dismiss the criminal case against Jussie Smollett, the former Empire actor who is accused of lying to police over being a victim of a hate crime in January 2019.
Smollett, 39, will now face trial next month, with jury selection expected to begin Nov. 29.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports attorney Nenye Uche claimed Smollett’s rights were being violated since he performed community service and given up a $10,000 bond, per a previous agreement he had with Cook County prosecutors.
“It’s as clear as day – this case should be dismissed because of an immunity agreement,” Uche said. “A deal is a deal. That’s ancient principle.”
But Judge James Linn denied the motion, reminding Smollett’s defense team that the trial would continue because the actor never admitted wrongdoing.
Smollett was arrested in February 2019 after Chicago police suspected that he orchestrated a hate crime in an effort to advance his career and secure more compensation for his role on Empire. The actor was then charged for allegedly falsifying a police report regarding his claim that he was brutally attacked by two masked Trump supporters who targeted him for being a black, openly gay man.
In March 2019, a grand jury indicted Smollett on 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for filing a false police report. The actor has pleaded not guilty.