Lori Loughlin's trial date is set in college admissions scandal despite claim of new evidence exonerating her

Lori Loughlin will be going to trial sooner than she’d like.

While the Full House actress’s legal team tried to push back her trial date to “no sooner than February 2021” — and continue to try do so — U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton said Thursday that it will proceed this fall.

Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, who are accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to get their socialite daughters into the University of Southern California, are scheduled to go to trial on Oct. 5 in Boston federal court. They will be tried among the first group of defendants — including six other parents accused in the widespread scheme — and jury selection would start in late September.

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Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli return to court
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Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli return to court
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 27: Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, right, leave the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in Boston on Aug. 27, 2019. A judge says actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, can continue using a law firm that recently represented the University of Southern California. The couple appeared in Boston federal court on Tuesday to settle a dispute over their choice of lawyers in a sweeping college admissions bribery case. Prosecutors had said their lawyers pose a potential conflict of interest. Loughlin and Giannulli say the firms work for USC was unrelated to the admissions case and was handled by different lawyers. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 27: Lori Loughlin, center, and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, behind her at right, leave the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in Boston on Aug. 27, 2019. A judge says actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, can continue using a law firm that recently represented the University of Southern California. The couple appeared in Boston federal court on Tuesday to settle a dispute over their choice of lawyers in a sweeping college admissions bribery case. Prosecutors had said their lawyers pose a potential conflict of interest. Loughlin and Giannulli say the firms work for USC was unrelated to the admissions case and was handled by different lawyers. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 27: Lori Loughlin, center left, and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, center right, leave the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in Boston on Aug. 27, 2019. A judge says actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, can continue using a law firm that recently represented the University of Southern California. The couple appeared in Boston federal court on Tuesday to settle a dispute over their choice of lawyers in a sweeping college admissions bribery case. Prosecutors had said their lawyers pose a potential conflict of interest. Loughlin and Giannulli say the firms work for USC was unrelated to the admissions case and was handled by different lawyers. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Actress Lori Loughlin (C) and husband Mossimo Giannulli (C rear)exit the Boston Federal Court house after a pre-trial hearing with Magistrate Judge Kelley at the John Joseph Moakley US Courthouse in Boston on August 27, 2019. - Loughlin and Giannulli are charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering in the college admissions scandal. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP/Getty Images)
Actress Lori Loughlin (C) and husband Mossimo Giannulli (C rear) exit the Boston Federal Court house after a pre-trial hearing with Magistrate Judge Kelley at the John Joseph Moakley US Courthouse in Boston on August 27, 2019. - Loughlin and Giannulli are charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering in the college admissions scandal. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP/Getty Images)
Actress Lori Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli exit the Boston Federal Court house after a pre-trial hearing with Magistrate Judge Kelley at the John Joseph Moakley US Courthouse in Boston on August 27, 2019. - Loughlin and Giannulli are charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering in the college admissions scandal. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP/Getty Images)
Actress Lori Loughlin (C) and husband Mossimo Giannulli (C rear)exit the Boston Federal Court house after a pre-trial hearing with Magistrate Judge Kelley at the John Joseph Moakley US Courthouse in Boston on August 27, 2019. - Loughlin and Giannulli are charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering in the college admissions scandal. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 27: Lori Loughlin, center, and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, behind her at right, leave the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in Boston on Aug. 27, 2019. A judge says actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, can continue using a law firm that recently represented the University of Southern California. The couple appeared in Boston federal court on Tuesday to settle a dispute over their choice of lawyers in a sweeping college admissions bribery case. Prosecutors had said their lawyers pose a potential conflict of interest. Loughlin and Giannulli say the firms work for USC was unrelated to the admissions case and was handled by different lawyers. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 27: Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, behind her at left, leave the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in Boston on Aug. 27, 2019. A judge says actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, can continue using a law firm that recently represented the University of Southern California. The couple appeared in Boston federal court on Tuesday to settle a dispute over their choice of lawyers in a sweeping college admissions bribery case. Prosecutors had said their lawyers pose a potential conflict of interest. Loughlin and Giannulli say the firms work for USC was unrelated to the admissions case and was handled by different lawyers. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, arrive at the federal courthouse for a hearing on charges in a nationwide college admissions cheating scheme in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., August 27, 2019. REUTERS/Josh Reynolds
Actress Lori Loughlin, and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli leave the federal courthouse after a hearing on charges in a nationwide college admissions cheating scheme in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., August 27, 2019. REUTERS/Josh Reynolds
Lori Loughlin departs federal court Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019, in Boston, after a hearing in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
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A second group of defendants, among the 15 in total, were given the scheduled trial date of Jan. 11, 2021.

Gorton told attorneys he was “concerned about pre-trial publicity” in the “high-profile case,” according to Bloomberg News. But, he added, “it is not going to be tried in the newspapers and on the internet.”

Earlier this month, Loughlin’s attorney Sean M. Berkowitz of Latham & Watkins requested that the trial date for the actress be next year, due to the prosecutors only recently turning over “over 44,000 pages” of discovery — pertinent documents and other potential evidence — in the case, in January. He said it’s not “feasible” to do it before then due to the “large volume” of discovery as well as “the general complexity of the case.”

The judge also seemingly didn’t adhere to Berkowitz’s request regarding the groupings of the defendants for trial. The attorney had asked for three groups, with Loughlin and Giannulli in a proposed “Group B” with just parents who allegedly paid bribes to get their kids into USC. However, they are in the first group and there are two groups total.

On Wednesday, Loughlin and Giannulli’s legal team claimed in a court filing that among the discovery turned over by prosecutors is evidence that “exonerates” the couple. They pointed to notes written by college admissions scandal mastermind William “Rick” Singer — while cooperating with the FBI in 2018 — that allegedly support the couple’s defense that they thought their donations were legitimate.

The so-called “bombshell” evidence is from notes Singer took while on the phone with investigators, in which he allegedly suggested they were pressuring him to lie and say that parents knew they were paying bribes when he had told them they were making legitimate charitable donations to his shell charity.

Defense attorneys said Singer’s note was “exonerating for the defendants” and “devastating to the government’s case.” They also said it “demonstrates that the government has been improperly withholding core exculpatory information, employing a ‘win at all costs’ effort rather than following their obligation to do justice.”

In light of that, the defense asked for another delay in setting the trial date today, according to CBS Boston, but the judge set the date anyway. The judge asked for motions related to what Loughlin’s attorney call “prosecutorial misconduct” to be filed for March 13, and there could be a possible hearing in April, if necessary.

Singer pleaded guilty in the case, admitting to taking money from rich clients to fix their children’s test scores or get them into schools via a side door as phony sports recruits. He is awaiting sentencing and continues to work with the government.

The college admissions scandal has captivated America since it was first exposed last March. More than 50 people, including 36 parents, have been charged, with 21 parents — including Desperate Housewives actress Felicity Huffman — admitting to fraud. Huffman, who paid $15,000 to fix her daughter’s SAT scores, already served her jail time — just 11 days — last fall.

Loughlin and Giannulli, who maintain their innocence, face up to 45 years in prison. 

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