'Charlatan Who Fomented a Hoax': Read Judge's Scathing Ruling Assigning Special Prosecutor in Smollett Case - NBC Chicago

'Charlatan Who Fomented a Hoax': Read Judge's Scathing Ruling Assigning Special Prosecutor in Smollett Case

In a scathing ruling, Judge Michael Toomin said he was in favor of a special prosecutor being appointed in the case

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    A judge on Friday ruled a special prosecutor will be assigned to investigate the handling of the Jussie Smollett case in Chicago after all charges were dropped against the "Empire" actor accused of staging a racist and anti-gay attack on himself. 

    In a scathing ruling, Judge Michael Toomin said he was in favor of a special prosecutor being appointed in the case, which he said presented "unprecedented irregularities" and was "truly unique among the countless prosecutions heard." (Scroll down to read the full ruling)

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    "The instant petition has its genesis in a story unique to the anals of Criminal Court," Toomin wrote. "The principal character, Jussie Smollett, is an acclaimed actor known to the public from his performances in the television series, 'Empire.' But his talents were not destined to be confined to that production. Rather, in perhaps the most prominent display of his acting potential, Smollett conceived a fantasy that propelled him from the role of a sympathetic victim of vicious homophobic attack to that of a charlatan who fomented a hoax the equal of any twist television intrigue." 

    Smollett was accused of falsely reporting what police say was a staged racist and anti-gay attack on himself in January in Chicago. The charges were dropped in March.

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    Toomin's ruling state's that a special prosecutor will "conduct an independent investigation of the actions of any person or office involved in all aspects of the case." It notes that "if reasonable grounds exist to further prosecutor Smollett in the interest of justice the special prosecutor may take such action." 

    The judge indicated in court that Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx did not have the authority to assign First Assistant State's Attorney Joe Magats to prosecute the case following her recusal. 

    Read the full 21-page ruling below. 

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