After 7 days and lurid testimony from coach, prosecution rests in Pitino extortion trial

By Brett Barrouquere, AP
Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Prosecution rests in Pitino extortion trial

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Prosecutors have rested their case against a woman charged with trying to extort millions from Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino in exchange for staying silent about a sexual fling in a restaurant.

Tuesday’s close came after seven days of sometimes lurid testimony and 21 witnesses. The star was Pitino himself, who answered detailed questions about the night in 2003 that he and Karen Cunagin Sypher had a sexual encounter in a closed Italian restaurant.

Sypher’s defense is expected to begin Wednesday. It is unclear if she will take the witness stand.

She is accused of demanding $10 million, college tuition for her children, and her house to be paid off. Sypher has pleaded not guilty to extortion, retaliating against a witness and lying to the FBI. She faces prison time if convicted.

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