Lori Loughlin is worried for her daughters should her and husband Mossimo Giannulli's case in the college admissions scandal go to trial.
A legal source told PEOPLE that Loughlin doesn't want daughters Olivia Jade, 19, and Isabella Rose, 20, involved in a potential trial.
“Lori is very concerned about what a trial will do to her daughters,” the source said. “It will undermine every accomplishment they have in the future and it will be part of their story forever.”
Loughlin and Giannulli both pleaded not guilty on Monday to both charges they face: mail fraud and money laundering conspiracy. If convicted, they could face up to 20 years in prison for each charge.
“It’s not in their best interest for this to go to trial, and Lori knows it. Because if it goes to trial, the girls will have to take the stand, and be cross examined by a prosecution that wants nothing more than to put a notch on their belt,” the legal source said.
“Lori is very afraid that her daughters will have to testify. That will traumatize them even more," the source added.
Loughlin and Giannulli were named as two of the 50 people charged in the sweeping cheating scandal along with coaches, admissions counselors and other parents who are accused of alleged crimes like falsifying SAT scores and lying about the athletic skills of their children to grant them admission into elite universities.
Loughlin and Giannulli are accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to falsely designate their daughters as recruits to the USC crew team, despite the fact that they did not participate in crew.
The source said that the Fuller House star is more concerned with public perception of her daughters rather than herself. “Yes, she can think about the public perception of her, but that’s nothing compared to what her daughters think of her,” the source said, adding that she and Giannulli are "thoughtfully" laying low as they consider their next steps.
“She will continue to make a good faith effort to put this case behind her and she hopes the prosecutors will do the same," the insider said.0comments
A different source said the situation is "putting unspeakable stress on her and her family."
"They're having to play this all out publicly, and they're fair game for jokes and memes, but also outraged [by] people who are saying that they are cheaters," the source said, adding that "they're being destroyed."