Illinois judge has cleared the way for a sealed record in the case of a "false attack" criminal "Emperor" cast member Jussie Smollett to publicize, controlling Thursday that the actor is not displaying "actions a person wants to maintain privacy. "
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Judge Steven G. Watkins, the County Circuit Court, ordered that investigative files in the high profile case should not be named after ABC News and other media organizations argued that the First Amendment and the right of access were a breach of the First Amendment. of a court of record.
Protected solicitors requested that the records be sealed on 26 March when prosecutors agreed to discharge all charges released in exchange for a $ 10,000 bond with Smollett and to complete a community service. The State Solicitor's office in Cook County did not oppose the motion of defense.
It was not immediately clear when more than 600 pages of records were made public.
The agreement to lower the charges in this case caused investigators of the Chicago Police Department to spend hours diligently investigating Smollett's claim that a racist and homophobic street victim was on January 29 near his Chicago apartment. He claimed that two men flashed his tree around his neck and put it "MAGA country is this," referring to President Donald Trump's campaign motto "Make America Great Again."
Ultimately investigators alleged that Smollett filed a fictitious police report and paid two brothers to help question the attack in an attempt to get publicity and to get wages from producers of the melodrama Fox TV "Empire." Investigators have also said that they suspected Smollett had sent a threatening letter to the Fox studios in Chicago earlier, and that she was now owned by ABC's Disney parent company, and that she was upset that he had not paid his attention. .
On March 7, Cook County's great jury showed the 36-year-old Smollett on 16 counting his disorderly behavior disorderly.
The decision to drop the anger charges on Chicago Police CEO Eddie Johnson, who said he was blinds at the quick malleable solution of a case spent by his week-long investigators. Then called Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, whose term ended this month, called the prosecutors agreement out with Smollett in private "a whitewash justice" and accused the Cook Cook County State of giving special treatment Smollett because six celebrities.
When all records were sealed, there were no definitive answers as to how the Smollett case was provided in a confidential manner.
Cook County Attorney General Kimberly Foxx, who had recycled herself from the case because she spoke to a Smollett relative to police investigation, said in the media interviews because the actor had no prior criminal record and has not been charged with a violent felony, he qualified for "alternative disposal."
Foxx said that the decision did not mean that Smollett was released, and indicated that he had been guilty of the trial.
Smollett immediately held a press conference, however, and he insisted he was innocent, saying, “I was true and consistent at every single level from one day. I'm not my mother's son. accused. "
Smollett solicitors also conducted multiple national television interviews relating to the decision to release the charges as evidence of their innocence.
The actor's solicitors in court on 16 May argued that the records should remain in the sealed case to maintain Smollett's right to privacy.
“These are not the actions of someone who wants to keep their privacy or not to mention each other,” said Watkins in his ruling, referring to the Smollett media blitz and his solicitors having dismissed the fees.
"While the court understands that the defendant was in the public domain before the proceedings that started this case, it was not necessary for him to address this publicly and so much," said Watkins. "By doing so, the Court cannot believe its privacy interest as a good reason to keep the case records sealed."
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