Sypher facing more federal charges after grand jury indictment - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Sypher facing more federal charges after grand jury indictment

Karen Sypher Karen Sypher

By Marisela Burgos - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A federal grand jury issued a new indictment against Karen Sypher. She is charged with trying to extort millions from Rick Pitino, the University of Louisville men's basketball coach.

Wednesday afternoon, the case against Sypher took another turn. Sypher faces four more federal charges. There are two more counts of attempted extortion of Pitino. The second attempted extortion was on March 6, just a few weeks after the alleged first time.

The indictment said that 16 days later, Sypher threatened Pitino by mail. She is also charged with lying to the FBI a second time. This time, the indictment said it was about Sypher's relationship with someone involved in the extortion investigation.

The last new charge against Sypher, claimed there was a retaliation against Pitino when Sypher filed a criminal complaint with Louisville Metro Police, alleging the UofL coach had raped her in 2003. Pitino told police it was consensual sex. Sypher said he later paid for an abortion. This summer, Commonwealth Attorney David Stengel did not file charges against Pitino because of a lack of supporting evidence.

Wednesday afternoon, James Earhart, Sypher's attorney, said during a telephone interview that his client maintains her innocence. Earhart said the case remains the same and Sypher will plead not guilty to the new charges against her. Steve Pence, Pitino's attorney, said the case is in the hands of the United States and that Pitino is cooperating.

If convicted, Sypher faces up to 26 years in prison. Also, she could be fined up to $1.5 million and could get up to 12 years of supervised probation.

Sypher is expected back in court on December 22. A trial date has not been set.

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