Sypher extortion trial begins

Opening statements have begun in the trial of a woman charged with trying to extort University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino, then lying about it to the FBI.

FILE- In this April 24, 2009, file photo, Karen Cunagin Sypher, listens as her attorney speaks to the media outside Gene Snyder Courthouse following a court appearance in Louisville, Ky., Cunagin Sypher has pleaded not guilty to federal charges of trying to extort money from Rick Pitino and of lying to the FBI. (AP Photo/Brian Bohannon, File)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Opening statements have begun in the
trial of a woman charged with trying to extort University of
Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino, then lying about it to the
FBI.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John Kuhn said in opening statements
Monday morning that Karen Cunagin Sypher threatened to ruin
Pitino's reputation with false allegations of rape and forced
abortion and has lied repeatedly as part of her scheme.
Sypher is accused of demanding college tuition for her children,
having her house paid off and $10 million for her silence. She has
pleaded not guilty.
Defense attorneys were expected to present opening arguments in
the afternoon.
The trial is expected to last up to nine days.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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