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Prosecutor: We'll Want More Prison Time for Loughlin

Says she'll face 'substantially higher' sentence than Felicity Huffman if convicted
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2019 3:43 PM CDT
Lori Loughlin departs federal court Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019, in Boston, after a hearing in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
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(Newser) – Felicity Huffman pleaded guilty to her role in the sweeping college admissions bribery scandal and was sentenced to 14 days in prison. Lori Loughlin chose to go another route—and a US attorney for Massachusetts tells WCVB that route may not end quite as well for her as Huffman's did. "Ms. Huffman was probably the least culpable of the defendants who we've charged in that case," Andrew Lelling, who USA Today notes is the top prosecutor on "Operation Varsity Blues," told the station. "She took responsibility almost immediately, she was contrite, did not try to minimize her conduct. I think she handled it in a very classy way." Loughlin, however, pleaded not guilty and will go to trial; if she's convicted, "We will probably ask for a higher sentence," he said.

"If people take responsibility for their conduct ... early on, it will probably go better for them," Lelling said of others involved in the scandal. Speaking of Loughlin specifically, he said, "The longer the case goes ... if it's after trial, I think certainly we'd be asking for something substantially higher. If she resolved her case short of trial, something a little lower than that. But it's tough to tell at this point how it's going to go." USAT notes that the judge in the case has given longer sentences to parents convicted of paying higher amounts in order to get their kids admitted to college as fake athletic recruits than to parents who simply paid to have their children's SAT or ACT exam scores corrected, as Huffman did. (William H. Macy, Huffman's husband, is worried about her.)

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