Former Hallmark Channel staple Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli will be facing a jury this fall, as a federal judge in Boston has just set their first trial date for Oct. 5. As most of us know, Loughlin and Giannulli were named as part of the infamous college admissions scandal last March when they were accused of using bribery to enroll their daughters into a prestigious university. Facing a maximum of 50 years in jail along with millions of dollars in fines, the married couple have professed their innocence from the very start and are currently free on a $1 million-dollar bail bond.
Loughlin and Giannulli's legal team had attempted to have the trial start date delayed after recently acquiring new evidence which they say proves the innocence of their clients. This week, head defense attorney Sean Berkowitz argued that the $500,000 payment the couple paid to alleged co-conspirator William Singer were believed by Loughlin and Giannulli to be "legitimate donations" for the school. Lawyers also allege that the Government was "improperly withholding core exculpatory information, employing a 'win at all costs' effort rather than following their obligation to do justice."
According to the complaint, the notes obtained prove Singer had been strong-armed by the FBI into lying about Loughlin and Giannulli to strengthen the case against them. In response, Assistant U. S. Attorney Eric Rosen argues that the two "couldn't have not known what the payment was for" and says the notes were withheld because they were to Singer's lawyers. Judge Nathaniel Gorton ultimately declined to delay the trial, though he instructed defense attorneys to file a motion for the alleged "prosecutorial misconduct" against the U.S. Attorney's office by March 14.
Along with Loughlin, Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman was also named as a part of the college admissions scandal, though she took a very different approach with handling the accusations. Pleading guilty to the charges against her, Huffman claimed responsibility and released a statement publicly acknowledging her part in the scandal and apologizing for her actions. Along with a year's probation, 250 hours of community service, and a $30,000 fine, Huffman was given a fairly-light prison sentence, serving just 11 days behind bars. Whether or not Loughlin is truly guilty, she may now be wishing she had taken a similar deal when given she had the chance.
Don't expect to see Loughlin back on television anytime soon beyond the press coverage of her upcoming trial. When the scandal broke, the actress was fired from Fuller House by Netflix and had her ties with the Hallmark Channel completely severed. Exactly what's contained in this new evidence obtained by the defense remains to be seen, but if it's as exonerating as Loughlin's lawyers allege, maybe the roles will start coming back in for Loughlin again. Of course, that's the best case scenario, with the worst being Loughlin spending up to five whole decades behind bars. This news comes to us from Deadline.