Felicity Huffman is facing the possibility of prison time for her alleged involvement in the college admissions scandal, but just how much time is on the table — and will it even be behind bars? The actor’s vocal remorse and lack of criminal activity may benefit her sentence, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Huffman is charged with paying William “Rick” Singer $15,000 (£11,500) to bolster her daughter’s SAT score by having the proctor change her answers. Her daughter’s score allegedly increased by 400 points compared to a previous test.
Huffman is the first parent charged in the scandal to take responsibility for her actions, which bodes well for her, the L.A. Times reports. She has admitted guilt and issued a written apology. “I am in full acceptance of my guilt, and with deep regret and shame over what I have done, I accept full responsibility for my actions and will accept the consequences that stem from those actions,” she wrote. “I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the educational community.”
Prosecutors are recommending between four to 10 months in prison for Huffman, court documents obtained by the New York Times show, which is standard based on 2019 federal sentencing guidelines. Additionally, prosecutors are recommending a fine of $20,000 (£15,400) and 12 months of supervised release.
Due to the fact that Huffman has no criminal history and her financial contribution to the scandal is considerably smaller than others, her sentencing recommendation is low. These factors could also help her avoid time in prison in favor of serving her sentence in her home using an ankle monitor.
“In federal court, the judge has the legal discretion to not follow the sentencing guidelines, as they are advisory, not mandatory,” Dmitry Gorin, a former prosecutor in Los Angeles, told the L.A. Times.
The only thing that could stand to work against Huffman is if the judge doesn’t want to appear lenient to a celebrity, the L.A. Times reports. Depending on the opinions and personal biases of the judge, they may want to avoid the appearance of special treatment by sticking to the sentencing guidelines.
It is likely that Huffman’s legal team will make a case for no prison time given the circumstances.