Local/Regional News
9:48 am
Mon July 26, 2010

Testimony Begins in Sypher Extortion Trial

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- – Testimony is scheduled to begin Monday in the federal trial of Karen Sypher. She has been under indictment since last year, charged with trying to extort millions of dollars from University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino.

A jury of eight men and eight women, including four alternates, will hear the case. Sypher is accused of threatening to go public with damaging information
about Pitino if he did not give her $10 million and meet other demands.

Pitino reported the alleged threats to the FBI, telling authorities he had a one-time sexual encounter with Sypher at a Louisville restaurant in 2003. Police found no evidence to support Sypher's claim that she was sexually assaulted.

Last August Pitino broke his public silence about the episode, delivering a statement in which he talked about how it had affected his family.

"I let them down with my indiscretion six years ago, and I'm sorry for that, and I told them that every single day," Pitino said.

Sypher, who says she has rejected several plea deals from prosecutors, is also charged with lying to the FBI and retaliating against a witness.