The woman at the centre of South Korea's corruption scandal, Choi Soon Sil, was handed a three year jail term for bribery Friday June 23,2017 in the first of a string of criminal cases against a figure dubbed the 'Female Rasputin'.
The scandal involving Choi and her longtime friend, disgraced ex president Park Geun Hye who was ousted in March, has rocked the political and business elite.
The Seoul Central District Court handed down a three year sentence on charges of bribery and obstruction, less than the seven year term the prosecution had demanded.
Choi pleaded not guilty, telling the court that she never asked for special treatment for her daughter, Chung Yoo Ra.
But the judges said that Choi had abused her influence to get her daughter into the school and awarded good grades, despite a poor attendance record.
A state probe revealed that the school had admitted Chung at the expense of better qualified candidates a revelation which touched a raw nerve in education obsessed South Korea.
"She committed too much wrongdoing to consider the actions were out of love as a mother who wants the best for her child," the court said.
A former Ewha University dean and the university's former head of admissions who were both found guilty of complying with Choi's requests were both handed two years and 18 months in jail.
Seven other people involved in the scandal were given prison terms or suspended sentences.
Chung's university position and her high school diploma have already been revoked, following an official probe which found her high school attendance and test grades had been forged.