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Karen Sypher Found Guilty in Rick Pitino Extortion Case

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By Jason Beahm on August 10, 2010 7:14 AM

When it comes to extortion case, usually everyone involved loses. Count Louisville coach Rick Pitino among the loses. Sure, the U.S. attorney's office succeeded in convicting Karen Sypher of extortion, lying to the FBI and retaliating against a witness. But the case exposed Pitino in a way that no one would ask for.

The case brought to light ugly details about Pitino's personal life, beginning with a sexual encounter Pitino had with Sypher seven years ago. "I used extremely poor judgment and I've made my peace with God and my family," Pitino said by phone to ESPN.

Pitino said that he was forced to come forward after Sypher approached him to extort millions. "I had no choice in this fight," Pitino said. "I had to take it on. I didn't want this to go public, but she went to the news stations." Pitino now must try to move on with his life and career, while Sypher, who will remain free until October 27, awaits sentencing for her convictions. Karen Sypher could receive up to 26 years in prison, although she is likely to receive much less than that, ESPN reports.

Extortion is defined as the obtaining of property from another induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, or fear, or under color of official right. More typically, extortion is used to mean illegally compelling someone to give you their property by instilling fear in them that you will expose a secret, harm someone, damage property, accuse someone of a crime, or perform some other act designed to harm the parting you are extorting.

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