Jussie Smollett Pleads Not Guilty To 16 Counts Of Lying To Police

Jussie Smollett has pleaded not guilty to 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly lying to police about being attacked and will now stand trial. 

The 36-year-old actor will return to court in April and will be allowed to travel between New York City and Los Angeles to meet with lawyers. 

He was accompanied by some but not all of his family and said nothing as he strode quickly into the courthouse wearing a pair of sunglasses. 

He was searched by security before entering the courtroom where he is expected to enter a plea on 16 counts of disorderly conduct.   If convicted, he faces a maximum of 48 years behind bars. 

Smollett, who insists he is innocent, is accused of paying brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo to attack him on January 29. They told police the actor wanted a raise on Empire, the Fox show in which he is one of the central characters. 

On Thursday morning, trial judge Steven Gregory Watkins was assigned to the case.