While a slew of other defendants in the college admissions scandal have pleaded guilty for their roles in the wide-ranging criminal scheme, actress Lori Loughlin has decided to fight the allegations — even as prosecutors tack on more charges. Could she still try and walk this back and reach the same kind of deal that other parents have gotten?
Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano said Monday on Fox Business said it’s too little, too late for that.
“It’s a little late, [prosecutors are] not going to dismiss those new charges. She’s going to have to confront them or work out a plea deal of some sort involving all the charges, including the new one,” Napolitano said.
Napolitano also said it’s “too late” for Loughlin to merely insist her alleged actions were a mistake.
“Now whether she got bad legal advice, or whether she was determined to tell a Boston jury that she thought she was doing the right thing–I don’t know what she was going through her head,” he said. “But it is too late to unwind this.”
Loughlin had her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli were charged for allegedly shelling out $500,000 to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California. To be very clear, the allegations against these parents are currently just that–allegations yet to be adjudicated in criminal court. Nonetheless, the context around the couple is pretty negative, with other parents pleading guilty similar charges under similar facts. Loughlin and Giannulli have also been hit with superseding indictments that added on money laundering conspiracy and federal programs bribery charges. The arraignment for the newest charge is scheduled for Wednesday.
This isn’t to say that the prosecution has a 100-percent open-and-shut case if this does go to trial.
Law&Crime founder Dan Abrams suggested in October that prosecutors were overreaching by going after Loughlin and Giannulli for new charges even though there wasn’t new evidence in the case.
“Of course they’re trying to squeeze them to plead guilty here. And there still could be deals,” he argued. “Just because they haven’t cut a deal yet doesn’t mean there couldn’t be a deal moving forward.”
If there is a deal, it might look a little different now than it might have before, Napolitano suggested.
According to sources cited in a TMZ report from October, prosecutors were still open to a plea deal with the actress, and were unhappy with the 14-day sentence received by co-defendant Felicity Huffman. Even with a lenient sentence, Huffman ended up getting out of prison early.
[Screengrab via Fox Business]