Former Empire actor Morocco Omari recently fought a battle with domestic violence charges. What happened?
Omari, 46, was arrested in April 2017 for misdemeanor domestic battery. That month, a 24-year-old woman who claimed to be Omari’s girlfriend told police that he had pushed her during an argument and caused injuries.
The woman is from North Carolina and was visiting Chicago for the first time in April 2017. She claimed he assaulted her after she insulted him in his apartment, in only their second meetup. Omari claimed that they argued, so he offered to take the woman, who was employed by an airline, to the airport so she could fly back home on stand-by.
On the ride there, they began arguing again, and he unloaded her luggage and dropped her off on a street corner in Kenwood on Chicago’s South Side. Through text messages, he sent her a link to find a ride through a car-sharing app.
The woman walked a few blocks, then stopped at a school to report that Omari had assaulted her and thrown her out of the vehicle. Omari’s lawyer said the woman passed several stores and did not call police, according to phone records.
Not surprisingly, the charges sullied Omari’s reputation. He said he got one job but was dropped when the producer searched Google for his name and found the charges. Other producers followed suit, costing Omari numerous acting opportunities.
Now, however, it seems that his fortunes may be turning. Once the trial was finally held, the judge and jury acquitted Omari of all charges – in only two hours of deliberation.
Additionally, Omari has relocated to the East Coast and has found several acting jobs. He is now focused on restarting his 20-year acting career.
Below, we’re going to cover the law in Illinois, what criminal penalties domestic battery includes, and explain why mounting a strong defense is so important.
The Domestic Battery Statute in Illinois
Domestic battery is a Class A misdemeanor charge under Illinois law. It can be raised to a Class 3 or Class 4 felony for prior convictions on any related charges.
These charges can be filed among family or household members in the following relationships:
- Current or former spouses
- Current or former partners
- Parents or stepparents
- Blood relatives
Domestic battery charges apply for knowingly causing bodily harm through insults or provocation in physical contact with a family or household member.
Aggravated domestic battery charges apply if a person knowingly causes severe bodily harm such as permanent disfigurement or disability during the act of domestic battery.
Penalties for a Class A misdemeanor first offense include up to one year in jail, fines, and mandated probation and counseling. A felony conviction will result in prison time, fines, probation and further loss of rights.
Fighting Illinois Domestic Battery Charges
Omari beat his charges and repaired his reputation due to a strong, clear argument crafted by his defense team that was backed by evidence.
An experienced Chicago criminal attorney can help you build a strong defense to your charges, too. Get in touch today for a free consultation. We’ll work hard to protect your reputation and fight back against any allegations you face.
About the Author:
Andrew M. Weisberg is a former felony prosecutor who now serves as a defense attorney in the greater Chicago area. He has extensive experience in handling all types of criminal cases, from sex offenses and domestic violence to retail theft-related crimes, murder, and drug crimes.