Report: Josh Pastner's accusers imply sexual assault allegation might be false during jailhouse phone calls

Jack Baer
Josh Pastner has known former friend Ron Bell for two decades. (AP Photo)
Josh Pastner has known former friend Ron Bell for two decades. (AP Photo)

A lawsuit and countersuit filed earlier this year laid bare a soured relationship between Georgia Tech basketball coach Josh Pastner and a couple of estranged friends, with the couple accusing Pastner of sexual assault and the coach accusing them of defamation and attempted extortion.

Now, Pastner’s lawyers claim that jailhouse calls between Ron Bell and Jennifer Pendley, who accused Pastner of assaulting Pendley in a hotel room in February 2016, show that the couple purposefully fabricated the allegations, according to a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Josh Pastner’s accusers imply sexual assault story was fabricated

Bell reportedly spent five weeks in jail this spring – first in Arizona, then Georgia after an extradition – for violating his probation from an earlier theft conviction. During that time, Bell reportedly talked to Pendley several hours a day and would often vulgarly berate her. In transcripts of multiple conversations acquired by the AJC, the two seemed to treat their accusations against Pastner as less than factual.

It started when Bell accused Pendley’s suit against Pastner of being the reason he was back in jail.

“I’m sick and tired of being in jail because you filed the lawsuit,” Bell told Pendley in a video call recorded by jail officials last spring.

“Well,” Pendley replied, “whose fault – why did I file it?”

“Did you hear what you just said on the phone?” Bell said into the camera. “Look at me. You are so stupid.”

Later, Bell heavily suggested that Pendley had no need for sexual assault counseling, but wouldn’t explicitly say why.

“Listen to what I’m about to say and read between the lines,” Bell told Pendley. “I think you can live without sexual assault counseling for a couple of weeks. Do you?”

“Yes, absolutely, honey,” Pendley said. “I agree.”

“And we don’t want to say why, but you know why, right?” Bell answered. “And I know why, right?”

“Yes,” Pendley said. “Yes.”

In other conversations, Bell reportedly told Pendley he was “coming clean” and “don’t deviate from our plan.”

Ron Bell and Jennifer Pendley’s accusations against Josh Pastner

In their lawsuit, Bell and Pendley alleged that Pastner masturbated in close contact with Pendley in a hotel room while Bell was in the shower, then attempted to force her into oral sex before ejaculating onto her shirt. Pendley claimed she resisted and asked Pastner to stop throughout, and that Pastner threatened to use his power to make her life “a living hell” if she said anything.

Pastner released a statement after the suit was filed, calling the allegation a lie. Per the AJC’s report, Bell and Pendley’s lawyers have since left the case because they suspected the couple of lying about the existence of the shirt Pastner would have ejaculated onto during the incident.

This lawsuit was counter to Pastner’s initial suit, in which he accused the couple of several charges, including defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and attempted extortion of him and his family.

Josh Pastner’s relationship with Ron Bell

These lawsuits and allegations are the end result of a complicated relationship between Pastner and Bell that went extraordinarily sour, in which Bell reportedly worked as Pastner’s bag man to provide extra benefits to his players.

The relationship goes back two decades to when Pastner was a player at Arizona and includes Pastner’s time as head coach at Memphis. Eventually, Bell, a recovering addict and multi-time felon, had a falling out with Pastner when the coach failed to adequately compensate Bell for his efforts and forgot to call Bell on his birthday. Bell would later threaten to expose his role with Pastner, which allegedly led Pastner to self-report the violations.

Apparently, that was barely the beginning of their conflict.

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OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
-110-1.5O 129.5
Georgia Tech
-110+1.5U 129.5