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Report: Claim against Josh Pastner alleges sexual assault

An Arizona woman and her boyfriend Ron Bell, who were sued for defamation by Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner after Bell went public with accusations that Pastner knew of NCAA violations, have filed a counterclaim against Pastner alleging “sexual assault, sexual battery and infliction of emotional distress, according to court records obtained by Dan Marries of KOLD-TV Tucson.

The court documents claim that Bell and the woman were in Memphis to attend a Tigers vs. Houston game when Pastner was still the Memphis coach in February, 2016. Pastner visited the couple’s hotel room, and when Bell went to the restroom to shower, Pastner approached the woman, exposed himself and began masturbating in front of her before attempting to force her to perform oral sex on him, the documents allege. The woman refused his advances, and Pastner threatened he knew “powerful people who would  make (her) ‘life a living hell’ if she ever mentioned” the incident, according to the claim.

The woman did not tell Bell about the event “afraid he would take Pastner’s side over hers due to the threats Pastner made,” according to the court documents. The claim also alleges 11 incidents in which Pastner sexually harassed the woman.

Pastner filed lawsuit against the couple last month claiming “alleging defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, civil conspiracy, aiding and abetting and injurious falsehoods” after Bell went public with allegations that Pastner was aware of impermissible benefits Bell provided for Pastner’s players.

“Ronald Bell and (his girlfriend) have threatened Josh and his family on numerous occasions, falsely alleging that Josh was aware of NCAA violations and in violation of NCAA rules and, when the threat of exposing these false NCAA violations did not result in a monetary payout for Mr. Bell and (his girlfriend), they moved on, more incredulously, to falsely claim that Josh had assaulted (her) on multiple occasions,” a statement from attorneys Scott Palumbo and Scott Tompsett said, CBS Sports reported in January. “Their release of information that they knew was materially false, inaccurate and misleading, has done great harm. Their allegations are fabricated and false.”

NBC Sports is not naming the woman who is allegeding she was sexually assaulted.

Pastner also issued a denial last month.

“I am disgusted and devastated by the actions of two individuals to whom I showed compassion,” Pastner said. “My family and I are victims of fraud and extortion and the extent to which these individuals have gone to harm us is truly unfathomable. I absolutely and unequivocally never assaulted or harassed (the woman), and I am truly sickened by these false claims.”

Georgia Tech’s Josh Okogie and Tadric Jackson were initially suspended due to Bell’s allegations of impermissible benefits. Both have since been reinstated.

Update: Pastner addressed the issue in his postgame press conference after Georgia Tech’s loss to Louisville