Georgia Tech's Josh Pastner cleared of sexual assault allegations following Title IX probe

Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner has been cleared in a Title IX investigation commissioned by the university into allegations he sexually assaulted and harassed the girlfriend of a former friend.

The investigation conducted by New Orleans-based Fisher Phillips law firm determined that the allegations made by Jennifer Pendley and Ron Bell, who also accused Pastner of violating NCAA rules last year, were not credible. It also determined that the allegations made against the Georgia Tech coach were highly likely to have been "concocted by Bell, made in bad faith and asserted only after various other attempts to damage and/or extort Pastner failed," according to the report.

Pendley and Bell accused Pastner of groping and inappropriately touching Pendley a number of times beginning in early 2016, allegations which Pastner vehemently denied. Pastner filed a counter suit against Bell and Pendley earlier this year in response to the allegations alleging defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, civil conspiracy, and aiding and abetting and injurious falsehoods.

The genesis of the dispute between Bell and Pendley and Pastner began in 2017 when Bell and Pendley went on the record with claims that they provided impermissible benefits to Yellow Jackets player, which CBS Sports' Gary Parrish reported on extensively. The NCAA later handed down suspensions for the two players in question, but notably, allegations of sexual assault or misconduct were never mentioned.

"Bell turned his access in Josh Pastner's world into a potential money-making opportunity," the report released Monday stated. "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."

Pastner's lawyer, Scott Tompsett, did not provide a formal statement in the aftermath of the investigations findings, only to say that, "The report speaks for itself."

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