- Associated Press - Monday, July 26, 2010

LOUISVILLE, KY. (AP) - Opening statements have begun in the case 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 court Monday that Karen Cunagin Sypher threatened to ruin Pitino’s reputation with false allegations of rape and that she lied repeatedly as part of her scheme.

Sypher, who has pleaded not guilty, is accused of demanding college tuition for her children, having her house paid off and $10 million for her silence.

The trial could sort out who’s telling the truth in the case that dragged down the reputation of the coach, who leads one of the two biggest teams in Kentucky.

Defense attorneys were expected to present opening statements in the afternoon.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) _ Opening statements will begin Monday in the case of a woman charged with trying to extort University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino, then lying about it to the FBI.

Attorneys will state their case to the jury in the trial of Karen Cunagin Sypher, before witnesses take the stand. Sypher is accused of demanding college tuition for her children, having her house paid off and $10 million for her silence.

The trial could sort out who’s telling the truth in the sordid case that dragged down the reputation of the coach, who leads one of the two biggest teams in Kentucky.

Prosecutors say they plan to use multiple witnesses, secretly recorded conversations and testimony from Pitino to prove Sypher is guilty.

Sypher has pleaded not guilty.

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