Collin Binkley, The Associated Press
upgraded on September 13, 2019
BOSTON (AP)–” Desperate Homemakers” star Felicity Huffman was sentenced Friday to 14 days in prison for paying $15,000 to rig her child’s SAT ratings, tearfully apologizing to the teen for not trusting her to enter into college on her own.
” I was frightened, I was foolish, and I was so wrong,” Huffman, 56, said as she became the very first parent sentenced in a college admissions scandal that captured lots of wealthy and well-connected moms and fathers.
The scandal exposed the lengths to which moms and dads will go to get their kids into the” right” schools and enhanced suspicions that the college admissions process is slanted towards the rich.
In sentencing Huffman, U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani kept in mind the outrage the case has produced, adding that it” isn’t because people discovered that it isn’t a true meritocracy out there.” The outrage, she said, was because Huffman took actions” to get one more benefit” in a system” currently so distorted by cash and advantage.”
District attorneys had looked for a month in jail for Huffman, while her lawyers stated she must get probation.
A total of 51 people have actually been charged in the scheme, the biggest college admissions case ever prosecuted by the Justice Department. Prosecutors said moms and dads schemed to manipulate test scores and bribed coaches to get their children into elite schools by having them labeled as recruited professional athletes for sports they didn’t even play.
Huffman paid $15,000 to increase her older child’s SAT scores with the assistance of William” Rick” Singer, an admission expert at the center of the scheme. Singer, who has actually pleaded guilty, presumably bribed a test proctor to fix the teenager’s answers. Huffman pleaded guilty in May to a single count of conspiracy and fraud as part of an offer with district attorneys.
The quantity Huffman paid is reasonably low compared to other bribes alleged in the plan. Some moms and dads are accused of paying up to $500,000
Huffman must report for her prison sentence in 6 weeks. She also needs to pay a $30,000 fine and perform 250 hours of community service.
” I want to apologize once again to my child, my other half, my household and the academic community for my actions,” Huffman stated in an emailed statement after the sentencing hearing.” And I specifically wish to ask forgiveness to the students who strive every day to enter into college, and to their moms and dads who make incredible sacrifices supporting their kids.”
In arguing for incarceration, Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Rosen informed the judge that district attorneys had no reason to doubt the reasoning Huffman offered– her fears and insecurities as a parent– for taking part in the plan.
” However with all due respect to the accused, welcome to being a parent,” Rosen said.” Being a parent is frightening, exhausting and demanding, but that’s what every parent goes through. … What parenthood does refrain from doing, it does not make you a felon, it does not make you cheat, in fact it makes you wish to act as a positive good example for your children.”
Huffman’s legal representative Martin Murphy argued that her crimes were less severe than those of her co-defendants and kept in mind that she did not get her child in the plan. The starlet has said her child was uninformed of the plan.
The case is seen as a sign of what’s in shop for other defendants. Over the next two months, nearly a lots other moms and dads are set up to be sentenced. Fifteen parents have actually pleaded guilty, while 19 are battling the charges.
Among those objecting to the charges are” Complete House” starlet Lori Loughlin and her style designer hubby, Mossimo Giannulli, who are implicated of paying to get their 2 children into the University of Southern California as phony athletes.
Previous Stanford University cruising coach John Vandemoer is the just other individual sentenced so far and received a day in prison. He confessed helping trainees get into Stanford as hired professional athletes in exchange for $270,000 for his cruising program.
Authorities said Huffman’s child Sophia got a bump of 400 points from her earlier rating on the PSAT, a practice variation of the SAT. District attorneys have not said which colleges her child applied to with the deceptive SAT rating.
Huffman’s hubby, star William H. Macy, was not charged.
In a letter this month requesting leniency, Huffman said she relied on the scheme after her child’s dreams of going to college and pursuing an acting career were threatened by her low math score.
” I truthfully didn’t and do not care about my daughter going to a prestigious college,” Huffman composed.” I simply wanted to offer her a shot at being thought about for a program where her acting talent would be the choosing element.”
District attorneys countered that Huffman was driven by” a sense of entitlement, or at least ethical cluelessness, assisted in by wealth and insularity.”
This story has been updated to correct the name of Huffman’s daughter to Sophia instead of Sofia in all references.