LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A 32-year-old Hollywood man accused of making prank phone calls to well-known athletic coaches, leading them to believe they were being offered jobs with professional and college teams, has pleaded not guilty to a felony count of eavesdropping.

KNX 1070’s Jon Baird reports Kenneth Edward Tarr was arraigned Monday on one felony count of eavesdropping after allegedly making prank phone calls to well-known athletic coaches about job vacancies.

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Tarr was arrested Dec. 9 and charged Dec. 17 with recording more than a half-dozen calls without consent.

Prosecutors said the suspect called coaches and officials from the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, Major League Baseball and college programs and claimed to be representing a team with an available coaching position.

Attorney Robert Sheahen argued his client was “a modern-day Mark Twain” who was being singled out for punishment by prosecutors under pressure from the NFL.

“Because the NFL has hurt feelings, they have filed felony charges on this prankster, a social satirist,” Sheahen said. “You ever see Ashton Kutcher get prosecuted? Ashton Kutcher made a career out of this.”

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Sheahen said he expected a judge set to hear the case in February to throw it out.

Tarr also captured some of the conversations on video and posted them online.

If convicted, he faces up to three years in jail.


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