Continued from page 1

“No. No. No. Absolutely no. I was raped,” Sypher answered.

In the interview Sypher said she became pregnant during the encounter. When she told Pitino, she says he ordered her to keep quiet and threatened Sypher and her family.

Sypher said Pitino later forced her to have an abortion. Pitino has said he gave Sypher $3,000 for medical insurance, not an abortion.

Prosecutors edited the tape to remove comments made by Sypher’s son, Jacob Wise, who is expected to testify later in the trial.

Also Tuesday, a longtime friend and sometime sexual partner of Sypher described for jurors three threatening phone calls he made to Pitino in February 2009.

Lester Goetzinger, a gas service technician for LG&E, told jurors Sypher asked him to make the calls after the two had a sexual encounter.

In the calls, which were played for the jury, Goetzinger told Pitino he would make public allegations that the coach raped Sypher and forced her to have an abortion unless he did “the right thing.”

“I’m not out to get money,” Goetzinger said on Pitino’s voice mail. “I don’t want no part of that.”

Goetzinger said he made the calls after Sypher, who he has known for more than 15 years, told a story of being raped twice by Pitino and being forced to have an abortion. The first calls were made Feb. 26, 2009, after a sexual liaison, Goetzinger said.

FBI special agent Mike Schafer said Sypher appeared to know more than she let on about who made the calls to Pitino. During the April 17, 2009 interview at the FBI office in downtown Louisville, Sypher denied knowing who made the calls, then gave investigators an incorrect name, Schafer said.

“Did you believe her?” asked Assistant U.S. Attorney Marisa Ford.

“I did not,” Schafer responded. “I did not believe she was being truthful.”

Pitino has coached at Louisville since 2001, a job he took after leaving the NBA’s Boston Celtics, where Sypher’s estranged husband, Tim Sypher, served as special assistant to Pitino. Tim Sypher continued to work for Pitino as Louisville’s men’s basketball equipment manager, according to the school’s website, but has recently been named director of the Yum Center, the building that houses offices and training facilities for Louisville’s men’s basketball team.

Tim and Karen Sypher are in the midst of a divorce. They have a young daughter together.


Story Continues →