Pitino jurors asked to reveal views on sex

June 24, 2010 at 9:12 PM
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LOUISVILLE, Ky., June 24 (UPI) -- Potential jurors in the case of a woman accused of trying to extort money from Louisville Coach Rick Pitino were asked about premarital sex and Cardinal games.

The prospective jurors' questionnaire also asked for their views about abortion and everything they'd heard, read or said about defendant Karen Cunagin Sypher, whose trial is scheduled to begin July 26, The (Louisville) Courier-Journal reported.

Sypher, a former saleswoman and the estranged wife of the Louisville basketball team's equipment manager, has pleaded not guilty to charges of lying to the FBI, getting revenge against a witness and trying to extort money and cars from Pitino, in exchange for keeping quiet about allegations they had sex at a Louisville restaurant in 2003.

Pitino told police he and Sypher had consensual sex there. He said he gave her money to pay for health insurance so she could afford an abortion.

He denied her claim that he raped her, an accusation Jefferson Commonwealth Attorney Dave Stengel later decided was "void of credibility."

The charges against Sypher carry potential prison sentences of up to 26 years and a fine of up to $1.5 million. She has been free on her own recognizance on the condition that she make no disparaging statements about Pitino.

The juror questionnaire asks if potential jurors had formed an opinion about Sypher's guilt, the newspaper said. It also asks if they or members of their family are season-ticket holders for Cardinals games or if they've contributed to the university.

Answers to the abortion question range from "that person committed murder and should be treated like a criminal" to "abortion is legal and does not reflect upon a person's character."

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