Felicity Huffman has been sentenced to 14 days in jail for her role in the college admissions scandal

Business Insider Lifestyle 2 months ago

Felicity Huffman has been sentenced to 14 days in jail for her role in the college admissions scandal.

The sentencing judge said in Boston federal court on Friday afternoon that she believed Huffman had taken responsibility for her actions and was not a threat to the public, but that "trying to be a good mother, does not excuse this."

Huffman is one of 51 people charged in the scandal, in which parents are accused of paying the scheme's ringleader, William "Rick" Singer, to bribe college coaches and exam administrators in order to get their children into elite universities.

Wearing a calf-length black dress, Huffman spoke to the courtroom ahead of her sentencing and apologized for her role in the scheme, in which he paid $15,000 to have an SAT proctor correct her daughter's exam answers.

"I am deeply sorry to the students, parents, colleges, and universities who've been impacted by my actions," she said. "I am sorry to my daughter Sophia, and Georgia, and I am sorry to my husband Will. I have betrayed them."

She added a separate apology to her daughter Sophia, who she said did not know about the scheme and unknowingly had her SAT answers corrected.

"I can only say, I am so sorry Sophia," she said. "I was frightened, I was stupid, and I was so wrong. I am deeply ashamed of what I've done ... I take full responsibility for my actions. I will deserve whatever punishment you give me."

Huffman's husband, William H. Macy, and 13 other friends attended the sentencing.

The "Desperate Housewives" actor pleaded guilty to fraud charges in May. She is the first parent to be sentenced in the scandal.

Federal prosecutors asked a judge to sentence Huffman to a month in jail for her role in the bribery scandal, according to a filing from the US attorney's office seen by Insider.

Along with 14 days in jail, Huffman was fined $30,000, ordered to do 250 hours of community service and will be on supervised release for a year.

Prosecutors said there was 'no excuse' for what Huffman did

At the sentencing hearing on Friday, prosecutors said there was "no excuse" for what Huffman did, and hit back at her claim she was trying to help her struggling daughter.

"With all due respect to the defendant, welcome to parenthood. There's no instruction manual. Parenthood is exhausting and stressful, but that's what every parent goes through," the prosecutor said, according to Buzzfeed News reporter Julia Reinstein.

The prosecutor also referenced a mother in Akron, Ohio, who was sentenced to 10 days in jail after lying about her residency to get her daughter into a better school district.

"If we respect the rule of law, we should not treat defendants differently because of wealth or status," the prosecutor said.

He said Huffman's request of probation and community service was "no punishment at all."

"Prison is the great leveler. Prison is necessary here," federal prosecutor says. "She did this once, but she planned to do this again, signaling an inherent disregard for the laws that govern our society."

Huffman had asked for a year of probation, 250 hours of community service and a $20,000 fine instead. She also filed 28 letters from supporters, including her former co-star, Eva Longoria, and her husband, William H. Macy. Huffman, too, shared a letter with the judge.

"Please, let me be very clear; I know there is no justification for what I have done," Huffman's letter said, according to USA Today. "Yes, there is a bigger picture, but ultimately it doesn't matter because I could have said 'No,' to cheating on the SAT scores. I unequivocally take responsibility for my actions and will respectfully accept whatever punishment the court deems appropriate."

"I talked myself into believing that all I was doing was giving my daughter a fair shot," Huffman said in a letter to the judge ahead of her sentencing

Huffman's lawyers said in a sentencing memo to the judge that she "did not seek out Singer to falsify her daughter's test results," nor did she enlist her daughter in criminal conduct, the document said.

They said in court on Friday that Huffman's contribution to the scheme was low compared to others involved, at $15,000.

As Huffman addressed the court, she cried as she spoke about the day she took her eldest daughter to an SAT testing center, according to WCVB journalist Adam Bagni.

"I thought to myself, turn around, and to my eternal shame I didn't," she said, adding her daughter learning about the scheme was the hardest part: "[Sophia] said to me, 'I don't know who you are anymore, Mom.' Then she asked, 'Why didn't you believe in me? Why didn't you think I could do it on my own?'"

Huffman took responsibility for her role in the scandal in a letter sent to the judge ahead of her sentencing.

"In my desperation to be a good mother I talked myself into believing that all I was doing was giving my daughter a fair shot. I see the irony of that statement now because what I have done is the opposite of fair. I have broken the law, deceived the education community, betrayed my daughter and failed my family," Huffman said in a letter to the judge.

She added: "When my daughter looked at me and asked with tears streaming down her face, 'Why didn't you believe in me? Why didn't you think I could do it on my own?' I had no adequate answer for her. I could only say, 'I am sorry.'"

Huffman admitted to paying $15,000 to have an SAT proctor correct her daughter's exam answers

An affidavit said that Huffman arranged for her daughter to take the SAT at the West Hollywood Test Center, where her answers were later corrected. She then disguised the $15,000 as a charitable donation for disadvantaged young people.

Court documents said Huffman arranged for her daughter to be part of the scheme as well, but later decided against it.

"I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues, and the educational community," Huffman said in a statement after agreeing to plea guilty.

Prosecutors initially recommended 4 months in prison for Huffman's sentence, but later lowered the recommendation to 30 days.

Lawyers previously told Insider that Huffman's sentencing could be an indication as to what other parents will face, and it might even make some who pleaded not guilty, like Loughlin, change their pleas.

Source link
Read also:
Business Insider › Lifestyle › 2 months ago
Felicity Huffman was sentenced to 14 days in prison for her role in the college admissions scandal on Friday afternoon. Lori Loughlin, who pleaded not guilty, is facing a sentence of up to 40 years. Huffman paid $15,000 to the scheme's ringleader, Rick...
Business Insider › Lifestyle › 1 month ago
Felicity Huffman has been released from federal prison after spending nearly two weeks in a Northern California facility for her role in the college admissions scandal. Huffman had pleaded guilty to paying $15,000 to have her daughter's SAT exam...
Business Insider › Lifestyle › 2 months ago
Felicity Huffman was sentenced on Friday to 14 days in prison for her role in the college-admissions scandal. Before her sentencing, speculation had run rampant over whether Huffman would spend any time at all behind bars — and, if so, whether she...
Breitbart › Technology › 1 month ago
Actress Felicity Huffman, who plead guilty over her role in the Varsity Blues college admissions bribery scandal, was released from prison on Friday. Huffman served 11 days of a 14-day sentence.
Business Insider › Lifestyle › 1 day ago
Felicity Huffman his helping women adjust to life after incarceration as part of her court-mandated 250 hours of community service in the college admissions scandal. Huffman, who served 11 days at the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin...
Breitbart › Technology › 1 month ago
Actress Felicity Huffman has reported to a Northern California prison on Tuesday to start serving her 14-day jail sentence after pleading guilty to her participation in the college admissions scandal, according to reports.
Business Insider › Lifestyle › 1 month ago
Felicity Huffman is being held at the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, California, for the duration of her two-week sentence for her role in the college admissions scandal. The prison is a low-security, all-women facility in Northern...
CNN › 2 months ago
Felicity Huffman, the former "Desperate Housewives" actress, will be the first parent sentenced for the college admissions scandal today. Follow along for live updates.
The Inquisitr › 1 month ago
Felicity Huffman was released from a California jail Friday morning after serving an 11 day sentence, which was three days less than the two-week sentence she was given for her involvement in the college admissions scandal. Per a report Friday from...
Fox News › Entertainment › 1 month ago
Felicity Huffman surrendered herself to a California federal correctional institution Tuesday to serve her time for her part in the college admissions scandal.
Sign In

Sign in to follow sources and tags you love, and get personalized stories.

Continue with Google
OR