A man who claims his girlfriend once had a ''physical relationship'' with retired Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward was in custody Friday on charges he tried to extort $15,000 from the player by threatening to release evidence the player had paid for sex.
Joshua Van Auker, 26, of Pittsburgh, was awaiting arraignment on two felony counts of attempted extortion.
Van Auker was arrested Thursday by detectives from the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office after he allegedly met with Ward's personal assistant, Raymond Burgess, who paid him the money in exchange for unspecified ''materials'' in an envelope that Van Auker said could prove his claims, according to a five-page criminal complaint. Detectives monitoring that exchange then arrested Van Auker, but have not said what was in the envelope.
Online court records don't list an attorney for Van Auker. The Associated Press couldn't immediately reach Ward or his representatives for comment.
According to the complaint...