A friend of Lori Laughlin and her designer husband told ET (Entertainment Tonight, not the Spielberg character (the Barometer checked because, well, with this story being so over the top that it is hard to believe 90% of it all, so ET could well be an ace Hollywood celebrity scoop reporter)), “[Lori and her husband] claim they were under the impression they might be breaking rules, but not laws.They feel they were manipulated by those involved and are planning that as part of their defense.” Okay, so, if the Barometer has this straight, a grifter in a jogging suit with coaching connections convinced you that photoshopping your daughter’s picture on another athlete’s body and getting her admitted to USC as a crew athlete when she cannot row, row, row her boat was not a problem? What could possibly go wrong with this scheme?
Ignorance of the law is not a defense. Lack of intent is, however, a defense, and saying that you knew you were breaking rules may just provide prosecutors with that element. One never knows if the spokespersons have things straight, but if this one did: Find a new spokesperson.
One piece of additional piece of advice: When you are in a hole, stop digging.
The charges against Ms. Loughlin and her husband carry the additional issues of the money and laundering and then the tax deduction for the charity that got the funds (the grifter’s charity). The guilty pleas other parents took may not be the best option for this couple, but in criminal cases, contrition plays a role in everything from juror perception to sentences. One senses that the Hallmark nactress’s heart has not yet heard the call.