Charges have been filed against a couple who accused Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner of sexually assaulting a woman in a hotel room in early 2016.
According to a report from ESPN’s Mark Schlabach, Ron Bell and his girlfriend, Jennifer Pendley are accused of being “engaged in a plan or scheme … to allege a false, fraudulent accusation of sexual assault against Josh Pastner with the goal of obtaining an anticipated civil monetary settlement/judgment,” according to court records in Arizona.
Pendley, a partner with Bell in the scheme, tried to turn on Pastner, a former friend of Bell’s, as the duo hatched a plan to call police and accuse Pastner of sexually assaulting her in a hotel room while he was coaching Memphis more than three years earlier.
The call came before mediation of a civil lawsuit related to the accusation. Pastner’s attorney countered with a court filing that included recorded jailhouse conversations suggesting the couple fabricated the allegations.
In January 2018, Pastner filed a civil suit against the two in Arizona, alleging extortion and blackmail by threatening to release false allegations about him. A countersuit was filed by Bell and Pendley the next month alleging the sexual assault along with other times he allegedly harassed her.
A Title IX investigation conducted by attorneys hired at Georgia Tech cleared Pastner on it in June 2018.
Bell was previously linked to Pastner in a November 2017 report from CBS Sports in which he provided Georgia Tech’s Josh Okogie and Tadric Jackson with improper benefits. Bell paid for flights to his home in Tucson, meals in Atlanta and claimed to send the players shoes and shirts purchased online. Georgia Tech self-reported the violations to the NCAA after Pastner reported the violations to them as Okogie and Jackson were suspended for the start of the 2017-18 season.
The warrant for Pendley was issued last week when she failed to appear in court twice to be arraigned. Pendley was facing misdemeanor charges of facilitation of a fraud scheme practice, facilitation of influencing a witness and facilitation of tampering with a witness. Bell was hit with seven misdemeanor counts in March, including solicitation of a fraud scheme practice, solicitation of influencing witness, attempted tampering with a witness, use of an electronic communication to terrify, intimidate, threaten or harass and impersonating a public servant.
(H/t: Mark Schlabach, ESPN)