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Sypher Pleads Not Guilty To Extorting Pitino

A plea of not guilty was entered Wednesday in federal court by Karen Sypher, the woman accused of trying to extort millions of dollars from University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino.Sypher was indicted this week on charges of extortion and lying to the FBI. She was released on her own recognizance following a brief arraignment in U.S. District Court in Louisville.                   The indictment says the 49 year old estranged wife of U of L basketball equipment manager Tim Sypher threatened to go public with certain allegations against Pitino if he did not meet her monetary demands.The nature of those allegations has not been disclosed in court filings. Sypher has discussed them with several media outlets, which so far have declined to make them public because they could not be corroborated.Pitino said in a statement last month that he went to the FBI after someone tried to extort him and that he would defend his reputation.Sypher told reporters after her court appearance that she's prepared to go to trial.            

    "Yes, justice will prevail....I have to believe in the justice system, I have to," she said.Sypher is scheduled to stand trial on June 29.

Rick Howlett was midday host and the host of LPM's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." He was with LPM from 2001-2023 and held many different titles, including Morning Edition host, Assignment Editor and Interim News Director. He died in August 2023. Read a remembrance of Rick here.