Author: Associated Press

Published: 4:36 AM EDT March 14, 2019

Updated: 4:36 AM EDT March 14, 2019

CHICAGO — A judge is expected to be assigned to Jussie Smollett's disorderly conduct case when the "Empire" actor returns to court Thursday.

That judge will then likely ask Smollett to enter a plea.

Smollett is accused of lying to police about being the victim of a racist and homophobic attack by two men on Jan. 29 in downtown Chicago.

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The actor appeared in court earlier this week when prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed to allow cameras during Thursday's hearing.

Prosecutors allege that Smollett, who is black and gay, staged the attack because he was unhappy with his salary and wanted to promote his career.

A grand jury in Chicago indicted him on 16 felony counts, which his attorneys have called “prosecutorial overkill.” Smollett, who is free on bond, maintains his innocence.