The office of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx says in a statement the full document will be released by June 3, 2019
CHICAGO — A Cook County judge ordered records in Jussie Smollett’s criminal case be unsealed Thursday, after WGN News and other media organizations filed lawsuits calling for them to be released.
“This is about transparency and trust in the system, we believe the public has a right to know what the government did here and why,” media attorney Natalie Spears said.
The files in the case remained sealed at the request of Smollett’s attorneys ever since the Cook County prosecutors’ stunning and controversial decision to drop all charges against the “Empire” actor two months ago.
After Judge Steven Watkins’ order, the court clerk released some pages detailing legal procedures and court filings. But the ruling paves the way for more details to be made public once the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and Chicago Police Department release documents and investigative materials in the coming days.
The case became a national sensation when Smollett reported he had been attacked by two race-baiting homophobes who invoked President Trump’s “MAGA” slogan, hitting a wide range of hot-button issues.
After investigating, prosecutors alleged Smollett paid to have two brothers stage the attack. Police said the actor was unhappy with his salary and wanted to promote his career. Smollett has maintained his innocence.
The unsealed file shows a grand jury reported: “There was no reasonable ground for believing that such offenses had been committed.”
The filing also and shows Smollett’s arrest report, and the bond receipt Smollett paid for $9,900.
Attorneys for Smollett, 36, previously succeeded in sealing the records, citing the actor’s privacy rights. But Judge Steven Watkins on Thursday ruled those rights were trumped when Smollett’s legal team conducted multiple interviews, the Chicago Tribune is reporting.
“These are not the actions of a person seeking to maintain his privacy or simply to be let alone,” Watkins said, according to the Tribune.
READ MORE: WGNTV.com
Article Courtesy of WGN-TV Chicago
First Picture Courtesy of Cook County Sheriff’s Office
Second Picture Courtesy of The Rickey Smiley Morning Show