Male pleads guilty for trying to obtain GT, Pastner
Ronald Bell, an Arizona man who attempted to extort money from Georgia Tech and conspired with his girlfriend and a security personnel to implicate Yellow Jackets basketball coach Josh Pastner of sexually assaulting her, pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit extortion on Wednesday, according to U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan.The government said that Bell, who had actually formerly been Pastner’s friend, admitted he recruited the security personnel to incorrectly claim that he witnessed Pastner assault Jennifer Pendley. Bell had promised the security guard a share of what he alleged would be a $20 million settlement.”The defendant attempted to obtain Georgia Tech
and egregiously taint the credibility of the university’s coach with a false claim of sexual assault,”Buchanan said in a statement.” By his guilty plea he acknowledged the lie and his criminal conduct, and will now face the consequences for his criminal offense.”Pastner formerly denied the couple’s accusations, saying
there was “absolutely no truth to any of those horrible, bogus allegations. It’s revolting.” The government said Bell also interacted with Georgia Tech officials
and required money in exchange for not reporting the alleged sexual assault. In one text, Bell wrote:”This is going to get extremely awful. GT has actually made no effort … to amicably fix this … I guess this needs to get awful. I attempted to resolve this without damaging GT’s credibility … “After Georgia Tech officials declined to pay Bell the bribe, the government said, Pendley submitted a claim in which she claimed sexual assault, sexual battery, and infliction of psychological distress.The security personnel later on recanted his statement about seeing Pastner assault Pendley prior to a game against
Sam Houston State in Atlanta on Nov. 22, 2016. The security guard later on confessed he wasn’t working that day and was out of the state and made the claims”in exchange for an offer of a portion of an expected civil monetary settlement/judgment. “Pendley pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit extortion on Feb. 22. Bell is scheduled for sentencing on June 8. An Arizona judge had formerly convicted Bell on six misdemeanor charges for wrongly accusing Pastner of sexually attacking Pendley in a hotel room in Houston in February 2016.