Sypher Convicted of Trying To Extort Pitino

Louisville, KY – Karen Cunagin Sypher, 50, of Louisville, was found guilty of three counts of extortion, two counts of lying to the FBI and one count of retaliating against a witness. She faces a maximum sentence of 26 years in prison, but under federal sentencing guidelines, the penalty will likely be lighter. She will be sentenced Oct. 27.

The jury deliberated for slightly more than five hours over two days. The trial lasted eight days.

The case involved a 2003 sexual encounter between Pitino and Sypher at a table inside an Italian restaurant closed for the night. Pitino testified she came on to him and the sex was consensual. After she was charged, Sypher told police it was rape but Pitino was never charged.

Last year, Pitino received threatening phone calls and two letters demanding cash and gifts for Sypher to keep the tryst secret.