Aug 5, 2010 2:38 PM by Greg Boyce

Woman convicted in extortion from Coach Pitino

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A jury has convicted a Kentucky woman of demanding millions of dollars from Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino after the two had sex in a restaurant.

The jury delivered its verdict Thursday after deliberating more than five hours over two days.  Karen Cunagin Sypher, 50, of Louisville was convicted of extortion, lying to authorities and 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.

The case involved a 2003 sexual encounter between Pitino and Sypher at a table inside a 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. Pitino was never charged.


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