Trials & Litigation

6th Circuit Rejects Sentence Delay for Woman Convicted in Rick Pitino Extortion Attempt

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected an effort to force the recusal of a federal judge who presided over the attempted extortion trial of a woman who sought to obtain millions from University of Louisville coach Rick Pitino in exchange for her silence about what she called a rape and others characterized as a one-night stand.

Karen Cunagin Sypher will be sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge Charles R. Simpson III, as scheduled for her crime against Pitino, the appeals court ruled in a brief opinion today, rejecting as well an attempt to win a sentencing delay, the Associated Press reported.

Her new lawyer, David Nolan, had contended in his appellate motion that Simpson presided over a “rigged trial” and had investments that called his impartiality into question. The filing also contended that “the underlying case has revealed a substantial conspiracy to subvert justice which will create additional conflicts of interest of the trial court,” reports an earlier Louisville Courier-Journal article.

Prosecutors said, in response to the motion, that “the only thing unusual about the case, aside from the fact that … Pitino is the victim of Sypher’s crimes, is the extremes to which Sypher has gone to avoid the consequences of her criminal conviction,” reports another Courier-Journal article.

Sypher plans to take her case to the court of public opinion tonight in a 6 p.m. broadcast from a Whitley City, Ky., radio station, reports WLKY. Another WLKY page provides links to archived coverage.

Earlier coverage: “Sypher Convicted in Rick Pitino Extortion After Her Divorce Lawyer Testifies Against Her”

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