1 story equals 16 felony counts

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Jussie Smollett

CHICAGO (AP) – A grand jury’s 16-count indictment announced Friday against Jussie Smollett might be the result of prosecutors looking to charge the “Empire” actor for individual lies they contend he told about the night he says he was attacked by two masked men.

The reasons are not explained in the indictment, but legal experts say prosecutors sought indictments on individual details Smollett provided police after he reported being the victim of a racially charged and homophobic attack. Former state appellate judge David Erickson says prosecutors might be trying to protect their case in the event a jury or judge doesn’t believe all of the allegations.

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Prominent Chicago attorney Terry Sullivan says the 16 counts may be a signal of just how angry prosecutors and police are at Smollett.