After Sordid Trial, Louisville Coach's Blackmailer Guilty

Karen Sypher demanded millions from coach Rick Pitino, accused him of rape
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2010 5:34 AM CDT
Karen Cunagin Sypher arrives at the federal courthouse for the second day of her trial in Louisville, Ky.    (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)

(Newser) – A woman who tried to blackmail Louisville coach Rick Pitino after a brief sexual encounter was found guilty on all counts yesterday. Prosecutors during the sordid and sensational 8-day trial said former model Karen Sypher demanded millions of dollars from the married coach, falsely accused Pitino of rape after he reported the extortion attempt, and lied to FBI investigators, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports.

Pitino testified that the pair had consensual sex in an empty restaurant, describing the encounter as "unfortunate" and saying it only lasted 15 seconds. After the guilty verdict, a juror said that threatening phone calls from Sypher to Pitino played in court were the key factor in the jury's decision. Sypher will face a maximum sentence of 26 years in jail, although 7 or 8 years is likelier under federal sentencing guidelines. Click here for more on the case.

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