If it were up to Harvard University, the punishment facing Adam Wheeler would have been more than a decade on probation.
The Delaware man who faked his way in to the university apparently hit a nerve with officials there.
Assistant District Attorney John Verner said he spoke with Harvard officials who wanted the state to seek a longer probation, but he convinced the officials that a decade would be an appropriate request.
“This wasn’t a crime of passion. This wasn’t a one-time mistake,” said Verner.
A Middlesex Superior Court judge agreed to the state’s recommendations as part of Thursday’s plea deal.
A soft-spoken Wheeler read from a statement in which he apologized for hurting his parents and breaking the trust of his friends and professors.
His parents were present and sometimes looked down as Wheeler spoke.
Wheeler was able to transfer into Harvard by falsifying his transcripts, recommendations and SAT scores, which he claimed were a perfect 1600. He falsely claimed he graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover and also used plagiarized material to win a pair of writing contests. He was caught when he applied for the Rhodes and Fulbright scholarships.
After Harvard officials confronted him, he still applied to Brown and Yale and was accepted by Stanford.
When why Wheeler did it, his lawyer, Steven Sussman, offered no rationale.