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NCAAB: Former friend convicted in Josh Pastner accusation

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A former friend of Georgia Tech basketball coach Josh Pastner was convicted in Arizona on Monday for attempting to falsely accuse Pastner of sexually assaulting a woman in 2016, ESPN reported.

Ron Bell was convicted of six misdemeanor counts related to the scheme that stemmed from a fallout in the relationship between Bell and Pastner, Oro Valley Magistrate Court Judge Bobbi Berry wrote in her verdict.

Two of the counts were related to influencing a witness, while two more related to witness tampering.

In 2019, Bell’s girlfriend Jennifer Pendley allegedly called police to report that she had been sexually assaulted by Pastner in a Houston hotel room in 2016. Pastner was the University of Memphis head coach at the time.

A former Georgia Tech security guard also claimed that Pastner inappropriately touched Pendley before a game in 2016, but later recanted that claim. The security guard, Chris Meegan, originally had been in on Bell’s plan, according to Berry.

Pastner became the head coach at Georgia Tech in advance of the 2016-17 season.

“Ronald Bell … attempted to induce both Pendley and Meegan to testify falsely in official proceedings to further the false allegations,” Berry wrote in her decision.

According to a CBS Sports report in 2017, Bell also provided improper benefits to two Georgia Tech players under Pastner: Josh Okogie and Tadric Jackson. That incident led to a six-game suspension for Okogie and a three-game ban for Jackson.

Georgia Tech also was placed on probation for four years and was not allowed to participate in postseason tournaments during the 2019-20 season.

Bell is scheduled to be sentenced July 19.

–Field Level Media

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