Coach Eavesdropping

12/30/2013 12:08 pm0 commentsViews: 3

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A 32-year-old Hollywood man who allegedly made prank
phone calls to well-known athletic coaches, leading them to believe they were
being offered jobs with professional and college teams, pleaded not guilty
today to a felony count of eavesdropping.
Lawyers representingCoach Eavesdropping said outside court that their
client’s stunts had been posted on YouTube and he should not be prosecuted.
“Kenny Tarr has been outrageously charged in violation of a statute
which has never been used in a context like this,” attorney Robert Sheahen
proclaimed to reporters. “To file felony charges in a case like this is
absurd.”
Prosecutors said Tarr illegally recorded more than a half-dozen phone
calls, with some of them captured on video and posted online. It is illegal in
California in most cases to record a phone conversation without the other
person’s consent.
According to prosecutors, Tarr called coaches or other officials from
NBA, NFL, Major League Baseball and college programs and claimed to be
representing other teams, gauging their interest in another coaching position.
Sheahen said Tarr is a performance artist and social satirist.
“He carries on the great tradition of Mark Twain, Allen Funt and Andy
Kaufman, to name a few,” Sheahen said. “In pushing the boundaries of social
satire, he ran afoul of the National Football League and the idea that the
National Football League, with all of its power and all of its glory, has to
come down on this man … we consider to be outrageous.”
Tarr stood quietly alongside his attorneys in a dark suit and tie. He
was arrested on Dec. 9, and is now free on $20,000 bail.
Sheahen said others, more famous or perhaps funnier, had not been
prosecuted for similar crimes.
“You ever see Ashton Kutcher get prosecuted?” Sheahen asked. “Ashton
Kutcher made a career out of this and nobody’s ever brought him into court. You
can look at recent videos of Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber doing the same
thing.”
Asked why prosecutors would single out his client, Sheahen put the blame
on the NFL.
“I think they will kowtow to anything the NFL asks them to do, I think
the LAPD is basically afraid of the NFL,” Sheahen said.
The defense said it would fight the case based on discriminatory
prosecution and requested to be heard on Feb. 18 in Dept. 50, where Los Angeles
Superior Court Judge David Horwitz presides.
“We think the case is total garbage and we think Judge Horwitz will
concur,” Sheahen said when leaving the courtroom.
Among the victims of Tarr’s calls were University of Hawaii head
football coach Norm Chow, Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier and San
Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, NBC News reported.
Tarr allegedly called former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts
coach and NBC analyst Tony Dungy to offer him the head coaching job at USC.
Tarr allegedly boasted of his having “hoaxed” dozens of sports figures
with his phone calls and expressed surprise his calls were returned.
According to NBC News, Tarr told NBC4 sports anchor Fred Roggin that he
considered himself to be on the “new frontier of broadcast journalism and
sports media,” and supplied a video recording of a phone call he had with NBA
coach Mark Jackson.
The defense lawyers alleged that police built their case against Tarr
using wiretaps of their own, and they said they will challenge the official
wiretaps in court.
If convicted, Tarr faces up to three years in jail, according to the
District Attorney’s Office.

Tags:

Leave a Reply