CHICAGO (Fox 32 News) - Prosecutors with Kim Foxx's office are not backing down.
This after a judge accused them of a double standard for throwing the book at a woman in a case similar to the Jussie Smollett case.
"I don't want this hovering over me for the rest of my life,” said 21-year-old Candace Clark.
Clark, 21, was back in court Thursday in Rolling Meadows, facing one felony count of making a false police report -- the same charge, times 16, that prosecutors leveled against ‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett for allegedly faking a hate crime attack.
But unlike Smollett, whose charges were suddenly dropped without a guilty plea, prosecutors want Clark to pay restitution, make court visits, and either work or go to school -- all part of the deferred prosecution program.
"I'm not satisfied with that at all,” Clark said.
Nor was Cook County Judge Marc Martin when Clark appeared in his courtroom earlier this month.
As FOX 32 reported exclusively, Martin told prosecutors: "I'd like to know why Ms. Clark is being treated differently than Jussie Smollett?.... Ms. Clark is not a movie star. She doesn't have a high-price lawyer...and this smells big time....Your office created this mess."
"He was just asking very thoughtful questions,” said Wendy Schilling.
Schilling is Clark’s public defender. She says it's not unusual for defendants like Clark to get deferred prosecution. It's what happened to Smollett that's the outlier.
"I'm just trying to zealously represent Ms. Clark and see if we can have some other resolution that is fair and equitable,” Schilling said.
Same charge -- so what's the difference between Clark and Smollett?
"He has money and I don't. Really that's the big thing. He can pay for lawyers. I can't. He can pay to get this thing dismissed and expunged. I can't,” Clark said.
Clark's case has been continued to May 15th.