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Probation or Jail? Felicity Huffman Wanted ‘Fair Shot’ for Daughter

Felicity Huffman

Felicity Huffman was sentenced on Friday in the nation’s largest college admissions cheating case, said she was always searching for “the right book or the right piece of advice” that would keep her from making a catastrophic mistake as she raised her children.

The Judge sentenced the actress two weeks in prison, and a $30,000 fine, plus community service. Says public outrage is because Huffman took one more step to take advantage of a system that already allows her too many already

Huffman had roughly 13 loved ones with her in the courtroom today. Huffman’s longtime friends made the trip to Boston to show support and she has sisters and brothers with her as well.

Her husband William H. Macy is sitting in the first-row center aisle with other loved ones. Macy has not been charged in connection with the college cheating scandal because it’s unclear if he was aware of his wife’s alleged activities.

The actress was the first parent to be sentenced for her role in the scandal.

Actress Felicity Huffman stood before the judge this afternoon in Boston and read from a paper, saying, “I am sorry to you.”

During the sentencing this afternoon, Assistant US Attorney Eric Rosen suggested Felicity Huffman should go to jail for one month saying, “there is no excuse for what she did.”  Citing a letter Huffman sent to the judge roughly a week ago, Rosen said, “With all due respect to the defendant, welcome to parenthood.”  “Most parents have the moral compass and integrity not to step over the line. The defendant did not,” Rosen said.

 

“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,” Ms. Huffman wrote in a letter to the judge who will decide her punishment. In her letter, Ms. Huffman added that she saw “the irony in that statement now.”

So when a college counselor warned her that her elder daughter’s SAT score would be too low to be considered by top performing arts schools, she listened to what he suggested next: She should pay him $15,000 to cheat on the test.

Actress Felicity Huffman Arrives in Court to Plead Guilty

Prosecutors asked that Ms. Felicity Huffman be sentenced to one month of incarceration, while her lawyers say she should get no jail time but a year of probation. The two sides have sparred about how to best compare Ms. Huffman’s offense — a felony which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years — with past examples of educational fraud. And questions have been raised about whether Ms. Huffman and the other parents will receive lighter punishments than poor and nonwhite defendants convicted of similar crimes.

In the letter Felicity Huffman submitted ahead of her sentencing, Ms. Huffman described being motivated by a mix of maternal devotion and fear. She wrote that her insecurity as a parent, which she said was amplified by having a daughter with learning disabilities, made her trust the college counselor she had hired and rely on his advice against her better judgment. The counselor, William Singer, whom prosecutors have described as the mastermind of the admissions scheme, has pleaded guilty to racketeering and other charges; he has not yet been sentenced.

Prosecutors Seek One Month Jail Time for Felicity Huffman