Josh Pastner
(TAYLOR CARPENTER / AJC)

An independent investigation for Georgia Tech’s head coach Josh Pastner over sexual assault allegations found such claims to be false and made up for the purpose of an extortion scheme. Back in February, this story made headlines as it broke. Pastner unequivocally denied it from the beginning.

The report from law firm Fisher & Phillips detailed attempts by former Pastner associate to blackmail Pastner. Such attempts included the primary accusation of sexual assault. Bell fabricated the story of Pastner assaulting Bell’s girlfriend Jennifer Pendley.

Bell and Pendley made the accusations public after Pastner filed a defamation lawsuit against them in January. The accusations stated that Pastner harrassed and assaulted Pendley multiple times in February and March 2016 when Pastner was still coaching at Memphis.

Before the accusations went public, Bell sent multiple messages to Pastner demanding money or else he would expose NCAA violations. When Pastner failed to pay, Bell released that he had given two Georgia Tech players improper benefits- resulting in the suspensions of both players. Bell then continued to demand money from Pastner, however, the head coach refused. Shortly after, the sexual misconduct allegations came. “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.”

With this mostly over, it will be all basketball for Josh Pastner and the Yellow Jackets. They will be looking to recover after a tough season and losing their best player Josh Okogie.

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