Georgia Tech Probe Refutes Allegations Josh Pastner Sexually Assaulted Woman

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 4, 2018

Georgia Tech head coach Josh Pastner directs his players during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Gerry Broome/Associated Press

Georgia Tech's investigation regarding allegations of sexual assault against men's basketball head coach Josh Pastner found "no credible evidence," according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The probe, run by lawyer Scott Schneider of the New Orleans law firm Fisher Phillips, did not find evidence corroborating the allegations made by Jennifer Pendley, who claimed Pastner had groped or inappropriately touched her 14 times between 2016-17.

According to Alan Judd of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Pendley, 45, of Tucson, Arizona, said Pastner tried to force her to engage in a sex act and repeatedly groped her against her will. She claimed the sexual misconduct occurred throughout 2016, both at Memphis, where Pastner coached for seven years, and at Tech, where he took over the basketball program before last season."

Pastner not only denied those allegations but filed a lawsuit against Pendley and her boyfriend, Ron Bell, saying the pair had attempted to blackmail him with false accusations of sexual assault. He also claimed defamation and extortion. 

"Unequivocally, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero truth to any of those disgusting, bogus allegations," Pastner said in February, per Judd.

The Title IX investigation agreed with Pastner's claims.

"Bell turned his access in Josh Pastner's world into a potential money-making opportunity," the report said, per Mark Schlabach of ESPN.com. "Unfortunately for Bell, all of his requests to 'settle this amicably' were rebuffed which, in turn, only led him to escalate his allegations. Bell and Pendley's allegations that Pastner sexually assaulted Pendley are baseless."

Bell, who spent four years in prison (2009-13) on felony drug charges, said he first met Pastner during the coach's time as an assistant at Arizona and "asked for his emotional support" after he was diagnosed with cancer in 2014.

In November, "Bell alleged that he had provided Georgia Tech basketball players Josh Okogie and Tadric Jackson with improper benefits by paying for them to fly to his home in Tucson, Arizona, and paying for their meals at a restaurant in Atlanta," per Schlabach.

Pastner reported those alleged infractions to Georgia Tech, which self-reported them to the NCAA. Okogie was then suspended for six games and Jackson was suspended for three games by the school.

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