A federal judge in Boston sentenced Desperate Housewives actress Felicity Huffman to 14 days in jail, 250 hours of community service, a $30,000 fine and one year of probation last Friday. She was the first of 34 parents to receive a sentence in this year’s massive college admissions bribery scandal. Prosecutors accuse wealthy parents of paying tens of thousands of dollars to secure admission to elite schools for their children via doctored test results and falsified athletic profiles.
Huffman said that she took full responsibility for her actions and she deserved her punishment.
“I was frightened, I was stupid, and I was so wrong,” she said.
Huffman pleaded guilty in May to one count each of conspiracy and fraud for paying the scandal’s mastermind, William “Rick” Singer, $15,000 to arrange for alterations to her daughter’s answers on the SAT in 2017.
The prosecution pushed for a harsher sentence, stating that there was simply “no excuse” for Huffman’s actions.
“But with all due respect to the defendant, welcome to parenthood,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Rosen said. “Parenthood is terrifying, exhausting and stressful, but that’s what every parent goes through. … What parenthood does not do, it does not make you a felon, it does not make you cheat, in fact it makes you want to serve as a positive role model for your children.”
Nearly a dozen other parents are scheduled for sentencing in the coming months. Of the 34 total that have been charged, 15 have pleaded guilty and 19—including Full House actress Lori Loughlin—are fighting the charges. —Laura Edghill