Trials & Litigation

Sypher Convicted in Rick Pitino Extortion After Her Divorce Lawyer Testifies Against Her


Charged with attempting to extort money from Rick Pitino by falsely accusing the University of Louisville basketball coach of raping her, Karen Sypher has been convicted on all of the six counts she faced.

She never testified and her defense counsel presented no witnesses on her behalf. But he said in cross-examinations and opening and closing arguments that she was “villainized” for reporting the rape and blamed her ex-husband, who was a longtime aide to Pitino, for the blackmail plot, reports the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Among those testifying against the 50-year-old Sypher was her divorce lawyer, Dana Kolter, to show that she lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation when she said that she and Kolter had only a professional relationship. In fact, Kolter said, they had sex regularly. To prove it, he provided photographs.

Although Kolter, who admitted he had doubts about Sypher’s credibility, wrote a letter on her behalf seeking money from Pitino, he was not charged in the case. A Fox 41 report details his testimony.

Sypher, who now faces a likely prison term, hasn’t yet been sentenced.

Additional coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Divorce Lawyer to Testify Against Ex-Client in High-Profile Rick Pitino Extortion Trial”

John Clay’s Sidelines: “Dana Kolter’s wild testimony in Sypher trial”

Louisville Courier-Journal: “Rick Pitino faces rebuilding job after Karen Sypher extortion trial”

Daily Fix (Wall Street Journal): “Pitino Extortion Trial Turns Predictably Ugly”

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