Rick Pitino admits to consensual restaurant sex, abortion money, but denies rape claim

Written By Sun-Times Wire Posted: 08/11/2009, 09:26pm

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Rick Pitino, the man known for his tailored suits may soon be dealing with one of the legal variety as this odd story plays out.

The Louisville Courier-Journal is reporting that Pitino, the University of Louisville men’s basketball coach, told police that he had consensual sex with Karen Cunagin Sypher at a Louisville restaurant where he’d been drinking on Aug. 1, 2003.

Pitino went on the tell the cops that he’d paid Sypher $3,000 to have an abortion following their tryst, but denies her claims of rape at the restaurant Porcini and again at a different location.

The Courier-Jounral was forced to use Kentucky open records laws to acquire the information.

The paper reports that Sypher has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiring to extort Pitino and lying to the FBI, both of which she has pleaded not guilty to. She reported the alleged rapes to Metro Police on July 9, about two months after she was indicted.

The paper goes on to report:

Sgt. Andy Abbott said in an investigative summary that Sypher failed, for example, to disclose that another person was at Porcini Restaurant when she said the first incident occurred.

That witness, Vinnie Tatum, an executive assistant to Pitino, told the FBI that he didn’t see what happened but heard “only the sounds of two people that seemed to be enjoying themselves during a sexual encounter,” according to Abbott’s report.

Abbott said records also indicate that Pitino was in California when Sypher claimed he sexually assaulted her a second time. “The more information I gather, the worse it looks for you,” Abbott told Sypher during a July 13 phone interview, according to a transcript of the call.

The Commonwealth’s Attorney has said there will be no charges in the incident.

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