by VOA News
U.S. actress Felicity Huffman has been sentenced to 14 days in prison for her role in a wide-ranging U.S. college admissions cheating scandal.
The former “Desperate Housewives” television star was also given a $30,000 fine and 250 hours of community service during her appearance Friday at a Boston court.
Huffman pleaded guilty in May to conspiracy and fraud for paying $15,000 to boost her daughter’s scores on the SAT college entrance test.
Before her sentencing Friday, Huffman said she is “deeply ashamed of what I have done. I have inflicted more damage than I could ever imagine.”
Huffman is the first parent sentenced among 51 people charged in the scandal, in which wealthy parents paid bribes to ensure their children were accepted into prominent U.S. universities.
In some cases, the bribes were paid to college athletic team coaches who labeled the students as recruited athletes even though they did not play the sport.
Prosecutors had recommended a monthlong prison sentence for Huffman, saying that penalties of only a fine or probation would mean little to someone who is worth millions of dollars.
Lawyers for Huffman had argued against a prison sentence, saying the actress was only a “customer” in the scheme, and said prison time should be given to the ringleaders. They also said that Huffman did not enlist her daughter in the scheme.
Among other parents charged in the cheating scandal is actress Lori Loughlin, who starred in the TV series “Full House,” and her designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli. They are accused of paying bribes to get their two daughters admitted to the University of Southern California as fake athletes.