Things That Matter

Lori Loughlin And Husband, Target Fashion Designer Mossimo Giannulli Plead Not Guilty To New Charges, Now Face 50 Years In Prison

The college admission scandal is not letting up and is actually intensifying for actress Lori Loughlin. On September 13, actress Felicity Huffman was sentenced to 14 days in prison for participating in the college admission scam but was released two days early. In total, 51 people were indicted for giving money to Key Worldwide Foundation — a fake organization  — in order for their children to attend affluent universities. Their involvement in the nationwide college admission scandal resulted in millions of donations. It seems that the more money you donated, the heftier the sentence appears to be. In Huffman’s case, she donated $15,000; however, she, unlike the other parents, pleaded guilty. One couple is not giving in, however, and it looks like they might have to pay a heftier price because of it. 

Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, Target fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, have pleaded not guilty to another charge in the college admission scandal and now face a combined 50 years in prison.

Credit: oliviajade / Instagram

The couple has already been charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Last month, they were charged with federal programs bribery, and they pleaded not guilty. 

CNN reports “the new charge accuses Loughlin and Giannulli of bribing University of Southern California employees to get their daughters admitted. USC coaches and athletics officials allegedly designated the daughters as recruited athletes, easing their admission regardless of their athletic ability, prosecutors said.”

While Loughlin and her family seem to be putting on a brave face, sources say it’s actually quite a mess.

Credit: oliviajade / Instagram

According to People magazine, things in the Loughlin-Giannulli household does not appear to be in cozy conditions, which is a big distinction from what they purport it to be. Their new charges from last month just made things worse. 

“The entire family is in chaos right now,” a source close to Loughlin told People magazine. “They knew this was a possibility, but they thought perhaps it was just a bargaining tool from the prosecution. Now that the charges are official, they are realizing that there is no way to avoid a moderately long prison sentence unless they are found not guilty in a trial.”

One of the reasons, Loughlin and her family have gotten more scrutiny and criticism is due to their lack of remorse, radiant appearance in court, and her daughter’s flightiness on Instagram.

Credit: oliviajade / Instagram

During her first court appearance, Loughlin walked into the courtroom but not before taking pictures with fans and signing autographs. Her daughters — Isabella Rose and Olivia Jade — seem to be going on with life as usual according to social media. Olivia Jade has deleted some fickle pictures on social media after her mother was charged, including flipping off the camera. Loughlin “donated” $500,000 to Key Worldwide Foundation in order for her daughters to get into the University of Southern California (USC).

The ring leader of Key Worldwide Foundation, Rick Singer, has already pleaded not guilty for his crimes and is facing up to 65 years in prison and a fine of $1.25 million.

Earlier this year, Singer pleaded guilty to “charges of racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruction of justice,” ABC News reports. He is scheduled to be sentenced until next spring. 

People on social media are quite livid that privilege white people are getting better treatment from the justice system while poverty-stricken parents pay a bigger price for lesser crimes.

Credit: @breakradio / Twitter

In September, another school scandal went viral but this time it was because a homeless mom got a 5-year sentence for using someone else’s address so their child could go to a better school. People on social media made a point to show their huge discrepancy between that case and Huffman’s 14-day sentence. 

To make matters even worse, there’s already a movie in the works based on the college admission scandal. 

Credit: @deadline / Twitter

According to a statement by A+E executives, the movie, as of now, titled “College Admissions Scandal,” “will follow two wealthy mothers who share an obsession with getting their teenagers into the best possible college. When charismatic college admissions consultant Rick Singer offers a side door into the prestigious institutions of their dreams, they willingly partake with visions of coveted acceptance letters in their heads.” We can totally see Huffman and Loughlin jumping at the chance to play those roles. 

READ: We Haven’t Fully Recovered From The Frustration And Anger With The Aunt Becky College Scandal But Lifetime Is Already Working On A Movie

The Internet Wants To Know How A Prisoner Got A Popeyes Sandwich And Posted It To His IG Story

Culture

The Internet Wants To Know How A Prisoner Got A Popeyes Sandwich And Posted It To His IG Story

@eugene3005 / Twitter

Context is often everything when it comes to social media, but users have so many questions about how a Popeyes chicken sandwich landed behind bars into the hands of a “lucky” prisoner. The Popeyes Chicken Sandwich has taken the nation by storm, selling out at nearly every Popeyes. Some have made half a dozen visits to the fried chicken chain before being able to sample the elusive sandwich. This is the collective mood Twitter user FBG Eugene (@Eugne3005) was in when he was looking through his Instagram stories. Then, he sees his friend, Frank Gutta, post himself eating a Popeyes sandwich from his cot in jail, and he’s about had it. “N***** in jail ate the Popeyes chicken sandwich before me IM SICK,” Gutta tweets in joking anger, along with the visual proof.

Now, another collective meltdown over this sandwich is underway as people try to understand how Gutta even got the sandwich delivered to his prison cell, or posted it to social media, for that matter.

Before Frank Gutta sinks his teeth into the sandwich, he poses for a quick photo.

CREDIT: @EUGENE3005 / TWITTER

“Trying to see what all the hype bout,” Frank Gutta captions the photo on his Instagram story. What’s more, it seems like Gutta has a second sandwich sitting beside him. “I’m dead af,” comments one Twitter user. Someone else tries to comfort Gutta’s friend, Eugene, who presumably is not in jail, saying “don’t get your spirits crushed homie! the man’s eating a soggy sandwich meaning that ain’t no regular popeyes chicken sandwich right there is a Popeyes Booty chicken sandwich or a Popeyes C****** chicken sandwich! either way you still have a chance for the original!”

Others wondered out loud if that cot is a prison cot or a dorm cot. “This look like some college freshman dorms. Whachu mean?” asks @KhariSafari. “Jail/college same thing” replies @___Yashiro. Khari Safari agrees, “except you owe more money after one of them.”

Gutta posts one more photo to his story to anonymously credit his “bae.”

CREDIT: @EUGENE3005 / TWITTER

Looks like Gutta is on to his second sandwich, and remembers to offer a “thanks bae.” More outrage. “He didn’t even tag or say shorty’s name 😅He belongs to the streets,” tweets one Carmen (@3ntr0_P). What lengths did “bae” go to to ensure Gutta got his chicken sandwich? First, she had to overcome the hurdle that every other sandwich-seeking-American has to go through to just obtain the sold-out sandwich. Then… how did she get it in? “Wait… don’t that mean she put it in her cooc- nvm,” asked Sweet Don (@itsbbydon).

Some people couldn’t accept that the receiver of the holy fried chicken sandwich could be so cruel. “Or maybe she’s a guard and he’s tryna protect her job and his connection to the outside world,” offers Ashley Wilson (@anwxo). It’s a far more pragmatic explanation than it is a romantic one, but that explanation “makes a lot of sense… it’s all adding up” for Carmen. 

The conspiracy theories are in: “bruh gotta be busting down a female guard.”

Credit: @6e_Drt / Twitter

Light Yagami’s (@YvngLxnk) theory that “bruh gotta be busting down a female guard” is the most liked opinion on the matter. “They allow workers to bring in food at a prison, it just has to either be sealed or able to be opened to get checked for drugs/cellphones & other stuff. We damn sure didn’t eat chow hall food,” offered @TheNappyAfreaux based off her personal experience.

Humble-braggers are now flocking to the thread to glorify their victory.

CREDIT: @NEWROUGESTON / Twitter

“I just got my 1st and 2nd taste of glory yesterday after 5 unsuccessful tries over the past few months. Added ketchup & cheese on them muff****kas,” tweeted The Wasted Talent (@NewRougeSton). Others are just dropping photos of the coveted sandwich in the thread with no caption and no likes. 

With nearly 64k likes and 22k retweets at the time of publication, the Internet is also wondering how Gutta was able to post the cultural phenomenon to social media from his cot. “Not only that … bro posted on his IG story,” tweets El Padrino (@ImGooooood). Other users are like “F*** it, he’s already in jail.” “People in jail still deserve some level of humanity. Glad bro got to try something that’s still next to impossible to get lol,” a @KhaptainKhan tweeted.

READ: A Fight Turned Fatal After Two Men Got Into An Argument Over A Popeyes Chicken Sandwich

A Man Was Convicted Of A Crime He Didn’t Commit And 11 Years Later He Was Finally Exonerated

Things That Matter

A Man Was Convicted Of A Crime He Didn’t Commit And 11 Years Later He Was Finally Exonerated

@LADAOffice / Twitter

In 2008, Ruben Martinez Jr. was sentenced to 47 years and eight months in prison for crimes he never committed. Nearly 13 years after his arrest, Martinez walked out of the Los Angeles Superior Court a free man, exonerated from his wrongful conviction. “I did not do this time by myself,” Martinez said on the court steps. “My family did time. My wife did time with me, did the 11 years with me. I couldn’t do it on my own, by my own strength. It was God’s strength that got me through this.” His wife, Maria Martinez, a secretary for the sheriff’s department, appealed the conviction five times only to be rejected each time.

Ruben may have never experienced freedom if Maria didn’t pull some strings to convince prosecutors to look at his case, a sobering detail for innocent inmates without connections.

Ruben and Maria were all smiles as their unjust chapter came to a close.

Credit: @LADAOffice / Twitter

“All my husband wanted was for the truth to be revealed. Well, the truth has been revealed, and he’s a free man,” Maria Martinez said. Ruben had never wavered in his innocence and even turned down a plea deal that would have given him a two and a half year prison sentence. “I am sorry for this injustice and I am so happy that you did not give up on us and allowed us to share this moment,” District Attorney Jackie Lacey, pictured in the blazer, told the Martinez family. 

“Mr. Martinez and his wife proved to be unstoppable in their pursuit of his freedom,” DA Lacey told reporters. “Throughout this terrible experience, the two were never deterred by setbacks and instead demonstrated remarkable strength and dignity through what I imagine must have been a dark time in their lives.”

Ruben Martinez Jr. was convicted, even though he was working when the crimes were committed.

Credit: @oborraez / Twitter

All it took was one witness to identify Ruben as the armed robber who held up the same auto body shop five times. During the 2005 to 2007 sprees, Ruben was employed at a temporary employment agency and has proof that he was working during two of the robberies. In fact, Ruben had to endure two trials that failed to prove his innocence. The first trial ended as a mistrial after the jury was deadlocked. During the second trial, two key witnesses to his innocence were not called by either the defense or the prosecution. He was convicted and sentenced to 47 years and eight months in prison on nine counts of armed robbery.

But Maria was relentless in proving his innocence.

Credit: @LADAOffice / Twitter

After five rejected appeals, Maria leaned on close family friend and retired homicide detective, Catherine Wills. Wills and her husband were so close with the Martinez’s that Wills’s husband walked Maria down the aisle and gave her hand to Ruben. Wills and Maria compiled six months of research into a binder to give to DA Lacey. Wills’ credibility and persistence went a long way. “I told them, ‘Look, I’m 82 years old now, and I’m not going to die until Ruben Martinez is out of prison,'” Wills reportedly said.

In 2015, DA Lacey’s office created a unit dedicated to reviewing wrongful conviction claims, but Ruben’s case is only the third case supported in four years. Still, it was DA Lacey’s unit that “painstakingly tracked down witnesses and uncovered employment records and pay stubs that confirmed that Mr. Martinez could not have committed two of the crimes that were clearly the work of the same serial robber,” CNN reports Lacey to have said.

Ruben says that he has “no grudges.”

Credit: @LADAOffice / Twitter

Ruben is the first person that DA Lacey exonerated without any legal representation. “Although the vast majority of convictions are correctly upheld, I knew that, at times, the pursuit of justice, which depends on human beings, is not perfect,” Lacey told reporters. “And Mr. Martinez’s case serves as a stark reminder to all of us: Despite our best efforts, we don’t always get it right.”

“The Lord Jesus Christ is a part of my life, and there’s no grudges.” Ruben told the crowd. “People are human people do make mistakes. But what touches me is when the DA got behind me and stamped me … and proved me innocent — so what grudge?” What’s next for Ruben? Right now, he’s just excited to get his driver’s license and get a job.

READ: Eight New Witnesses Implicate Stites’ Fiancé, A Former Cop, Pointing To Rodney Reed’s Innocence