Sexual assault lawsuit filed against former Memphis basketball c -, GA News Weather & Sports

Sexual assault lawsuit filed against former Memphis basketball coach Josh Pastner

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)

A sexual assault lawsuit was filed against former University of Memphis head basketball coach Josh Pastner in Arizona.

This lawsuit comes in response to a lawsuit filed by Pastner against Ron Bell, a former associate of Pastner, and Bell's girlfriend, Jennifer Pendley.

According to a January article from USA Today Sports, Pastner sued Bell and Pendley for attempts to blackmail and extort both Pastner and his family.

In response, Pendley, who's listed as the counter-plaintiff in the new lawsuit, filed a sexual assault lawsuit against Pastner.

According to the lawsuit, Pastner, who's currently the head coach at Georgia Tech, was at a hotel with Bell and Pendley in Houston for a game. 

While in the hotel room, Bell left to take a shower, but Pastner stayed and tried to perform lewd acts on Pendley.

"If I can come out, other women can come out and be strong, and don't let people bully you and don't let them keep you quiet," Pendley said.

Pastner filed a counter lawsuit against Bell and Pendley alleging emotional harm inflicted as a result of sexual assault, sexual battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Pastner's attorney, Scott Tompsett, released a statement to WMC Action News 5:

This is in response to the false and malicious claim Jennifer Pendley made today against my client Josh Pastner. 

Josh sued Jennifer Pendley and Ron Bell last month because of their months-long attempt to defame and extort him, and because we anticipated they would not stop, but instead would continue their malicious lies. Thus, today’s filing by Ms. Pendley is not a surprise.

There was no sexual assault. It is a lie. Josh never acted improperly with Ms. Pendley. Never. 

In fact, contrary to the claim she filed today, for two years after Ms. Pendley alleges the first assault occurred, Ms. Pendley continued to proactively and enthusiastically initiate communication and contact with Josh and his wife, visiting their home, giving gifts to their children, attending games, and publicly expressing positive statements about Josh and his character. We have dozens of text messages and emails from Ms. Pendley to Josh and his wife which refute Ms. Pendley’s claims and prove Josh did not do any of the things Ms. Pendley now claims he did.

As detailed in our Complaint (a copy of which will be redistributed to media outlets), Mr. Bell and Ms. Pendley began alleging assault only after their two-month long scheme to blackmail Josh by claiming he knowingly participated in NCAA violations failed. Their false claims of assault are a last-ditch effort to continue an extortion and blackmail scheme that failed.

Our Complaint shows that Mr. Bell is a career criminal with multiple felony arrests and convictions, and a long history of dishonest and antisocial behavior. And as the Complaint explains, it was Mr. Bell – not Ms. Pendley – who first alleged that Josh assaulted Ms. Pendley.

Since filing the Complaint, we learned of an Oro Valley Police Department Report from last year showing that the police investigated concerns that Mr. Bell was abusing Ms. Pendley and keeping her from leaving the home they share. The police response was prompted by friends of Ms. Pendley who reported Ms. Pendley told them she was “in fear of her life” and that Mr. Bell “is physically and verbally abusive.” According to the Report, Ms. Pendley told police that she had not been fully free to leave the home when she wanted. The Report also states that Ms. Pendley told the police Mr. Bell doesn’t always let her speak to her family. A copy of the Report is attached.

As the Complaint shows, Mr. Bell has a long history of abusive, manipulative and controlling behavior toward women. Mr. Bell’s ex-wife sought a protective order because Mr. Bell “threatened to have [her] beat up to the point of drinking through a straw for 6 mos.” A former girlfriend of Mr. Bell resorted to calling friends to rescue her from the house she shared with Mr. Bell because Mr. Bell would not let her leave.

We are confident evidence will show Mr. Bell has been similarly abusive, manipulative and controlling of Ms. Pendley, and the truth about the abusive and dysfunctional relationship between Mr. Bell and Ms. Pendley, and the nefarious reasons for their malicious lies about Josh, will be fully revealed in court and before a jury.

Their own families do not even support them. Mr. Bell’s mother said every word out of her son’s mouth is a lie. Our Complaint explains how Mr. Bell falsely accused his own mother of sexually abusing him when he was a boy, and how Ms. Pendley backed up and participated in Mr. Bell’s lie. Mr. Bell’s father had to obtain a protective order against Mr. Bell. We’ve been told Ms. Pendley’s family has effectively stopped communicating with her and we understand her family fully supports Josh’s lawsuit against Ms. Pendley.

In this era of women courageously coming forward to report valid claims of sexual assault and harassment, we are saddened and outraged that Mr. Bell and Ms. Pendley have concocted a malicious lie to blackmail and to harm a family that showed only compassion toward them.

Josh will continue to prosecute his legal claims against Mr. Bell and Ms. Pendley, and we will continue to cooperate with law enforcement in their investigations of the couple.  

Scott Tompsett
Owner, Tompsett Collegiate Sports Law

WMC5 reached out to Georgia Tech for comment on the lawsuit. They released the following statement:

We are aware that a countersuit was filed today in response to the civil lawsuit that Georgia Tech men’s basketball head coach Josh Pastner filed in Arizona on Jan. 12. Coach Pastner and his legal team have continued to keep Georgia Tech fully appraised of the situation, and we support Coach Pastner’s efforts to address this personal matter. Georgia Tech does not comment on pending legal cases.

Thursday, Pastner addressed the lawsuit after Georgia Tech's game against Louisville.

"Unequivocally zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero truth to any of those disgusting, bogus allegations. It's disgusting," he said.

WMC5 reached out to the University of Memphis, but they had no comment on the matter.

Below is a copy of the counterclaim filed by Pastner.

Copyright 2018 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved. 

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