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Man accused of pranking NFL, NBA coaches pleads not guilty

A man who allegedly boasted about his hoaxes on well-known athletic coaches has pleaded not guilty to felony eavesdropping.
December 30, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
A Hollywood man who allegedly boasted about his hoaxes on well-known athletic coaches has pleaded not guilty to felony eavesdropping.

Kenneth Tarr, 32, is accused of making more than a half-dozen phone calls to MLB, NBA and NFL coaches, leading them to believe they were being offered jobs with other teams. He was arrested Dec. 9 and freed on $20,000 bail.

The 32-year-old Tarr would not speak to reporters, but his defense attorney had plenty to say.

"To file felony charges on a case like this is absurd, it hasn't been done before, and they basically have singled Kenny out for prosecution," said attorney Robert Sheahen.

Prosecutors say the calls were recorded, and some were even captured on video and posted on YouTube. It is illegal in California to record a call without the other person's consent, but Tarr's attorney says the law is never applied to other entertainers or satirists.

"Nobody else who does this gets prosecuted. Did you ever see Ashton Kutcher get prosecuted? Ashton Kutcher made a career out of this," said Sheahen.

Tarr called former Tampa Bay coach Tony Dungy to offer him the head coaching job at USC. Tarr posted it on YouTube. Dungy mentioned the job offer on a sports radio show, then later apologized for the confusion.

"Because the NFL has hurt feelings, they have filed felony charges on this prankster," said Sheahan.

The videos aren't necessarily funny, but Tarr considers himself something of a comedian. His YouTube channel has about 20 followers, and his most popular video has about 400 views.

Tarr is due back in court Feb. 18.

City News Service contributed to this report.


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