Felicity Huffman to be sentenced in ‘Varsity Blues’ scandal

The “Desperate Housewives” actress will appear before a judge in Boston as prosecutors have pushed for one month in jail for her role in the college admissions scandal.
5:12 | 09/13/19

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Transcript for Felicity Huffman to be sentenced in ‘Varsity Blues’ scandal
Now we'll go to judgment day for felicity Huffman. The "Desperate housewives" star is due in court this afternoon to become the first parent sentenced for a role in the college admissions cheating scandal. Eva pilgrim is outside the courtroom in Boston with the good morning to you, Eva. Reporter: Good morning, Michael. It's been almost six months to the day since federal agents stormed into her home arresting the actress N a matter of hours she will walk into this courthouse and learn her fate. It's decision day in the federal case against actress felicity Huffman. The 56-year-old set to be sentenced this afternoon after pleading guilty in the country's largest college admissions scandal admitting to paying $15,000 to have an S.A.T. Proctor alter her daughter's scores. Prosecutors pushing to are a month behind bars telling the judge Huffman's conduct was deliberate and manifestly criminal, neither probation nor confinement in a large home in the Hollywood hills with an infinity pool would conte statute meaningful punishment for deter others from committing similar crimes but Huffman asking the judge instead for probation and community service along with a $20,000 fine. Earlier this week Huffman penning a passionate letter to the judge claiming her decision was out of desperation to be a good mother, believing that all I was doing was giving my daughter a fair shot. Based on her own upbringing where she felt like she didn't have a lot of support and was on her own she wanted to go the extra mile to make sure they had every advantage. Reporter: Huffman receiving support from many of her friends and family who wrote letters to the judge on her behalf. Her husband, actor William H. Macy writing to be sure felicity's relationship with her daughters exploded on March 12th and rebuilding that relationship will be a long process. But I also want you to know felicity has raised two amazing young women adding it's not clear when or how felicity will resume her acting career, he said, since her arrest, she's received no job offers or auditions. An unknown factor in the judge's decision, who is the victim? Probation officials filed a court document saying no university suffered any financial loss saying there is no victim of this offense adding that they question what degree of responsibility lies with the schools and testing agencies for failing to properly oversee the admissions and testing processes to ensure that they were fair for all students. And a lot of eyes will be watching as she is the first of the parents to be sentenced. Potentially setting the tone for what's to come. Amy. All right, Eva pilgrim, thank you. Let's bring in our chief legal analyst Dan Abrams and media expert and managing partner at 10ten media. Larry Hackett. One month in jail. Felicity wants community service. What do you think will happen? You heard the critical question which is what was the victim here? Who was the victim? When you're looking at a financial crime and that's what this is, I know people want to make this a sort of crime of outrage and it is morally outrageous, but when we're looking at the possible sentence, you look at who was the victim and how much did that person or entity lose? And the problem here is that the universities didn't lose any in fact, you can make an argument that they actually made a little money here and there so I think in the end she'll get no jail time. I don't think anyone should be surprised when that happens because I think anyone else in her position likely would not get time. All right, and, Larry, Huffman was the first group of many parents to plead guilty in this whole scandal. What do you make of the way she has handled this compared to others? As best as possible I think the idea of pleading and saying I'm sorry, I did a terrible thing early on right out of the gate was her only defense. Dan is right. I mean the moral outrage here is enormous, right? It's kind of like moral batting practice that's going on here. Everybody has Ang opinion. The document the prosecutor filed is not about the law but taking advantage of public outrage. That's what she did and did it right. Paradoxically if she were to get jail time her rehabilitation would occur faster. A pound of flesh. In terms of precedence, what does this decision set for the If the court determines that there was no financial victim, that's dangerous for prosecutors moving forward. That could lead to a lot better plea offers going out across the board. We've already seen this happen once in this case in connection with the sailing coach at Stanford university. A different set of facts, et cetera, but prosecutors there wanted something like 13 months. He got a day because again the question was this is a financial crime and when you're talking about the sentence, the question of how much did the person or entity lose becomes critical and prosecutors have a really hard time legally, again, that's not a moral defense. That is a legal analysis of what the sentence may be. Yeah, I know we're out of time but does she have an acting career going forward. Obviously. I think so. Dan is surprised. I don't think she's going to serve any time. Two words for you, Martha Stewart. Thank you as always. Whit, over to you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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