|10-23-2012, 10:23 PM||#1|
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Court Date Postponed In Hines Ward Extortion Case
A preliminary hearing for a man charged with trying to extort $15,000 from former Steelers WR Hines Ward was postponed Tuesday until Dec. 3 at the request of his attorney.
Defense attorney David Shrager said he needed more time to investigate the charges against Joshua Van Auker, 26, of Pittsburgh, along with the evidence. He struck a conciliatory tone when he addressed reporters after a brief court appearance, describing his client as naive and inexperienced.
"This is surreal for him, this is a nice young man," Shrager said of his client, who is accused of contacting Ward's personal assistant last week and threatening to go public with information that Ward had paid prostitutes for sex.
"Hines Ward's an essential part of Pittsburgh history ... he's a great guy," Shrager said.
Ward's assistant, Raymond Burgess, contacted authorities after Van Auker text messaged him, claiming to have the damaging information. Detectives with the Allegheny County district attorney's office investigated and determined that Van Auker decided to make the demands after learning his girlfriend "had been involved in a prior physical relationship with Ward," according to a criminal complaint.
Source: Associated Press
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