Sports

Josh Pastner: 'Zero truth' to 'disgusting, bogus' sex assault allegations

Josh Pastner: 'Zero truth' to 'disgusting, bogus' sex assault allegations

A Tucson-area couple has filed a lawsuit against Georgia Tech basketball coach Josh Pastner, claiming sexual assault and sexual battery by the former University of Arizona standout.

The lawsuit was filed by Ron Bell, a former close friend of Pastner.

"Ronald Bell and Jennifer Pendley 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 Ms. Pendley, they moved on, more incredulously, to falsely claim that Josh had assaulted Ms. Pendley on multiple occasions".

Pastner is accused of an incident in 2016 that occurred first when he was the head coach at Memphis, before leaving for Georgia Tech.

In a statement released by his attorney, Pastner said the woman continued to initiate contact with Pastner and his wife, visiting their home and giving gifts to their children for two years after the alleged assault. Tompsett calls Bell's and Pendley's allegations "malicious lies" and seeks to shed light on aspects of the couple's behavior that counters their claims in the lawsuit. On the night of February 9, the lawsuit said Pastner went to Pendley and Bell's room to discuss a mutual friend who was writing an article profiling Bell and Pastner's years-long friendship. Pendley has not reported the allegations to police, but said Thursday that she is considering filing charges. Pastner told her, according to the suit, that he knew powerful people who would make her life "a living hell".

Since Bell's initial accusation, he and Pendley have come forward with more details on Pastner's alleged sexual assault. She told Bell about the assault in October, according to the suit.

The following is a statement from Josh Pastner's lawyer, Scott Tompsett. Bell, he says, has a history of criminal activity and "dishonest and antisocial behavior". "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".

Pastner, 40, took over as Georgia Tech's men's basketball coach in 2016.