Remember the bizarre situation between Ron Bell and his now former friend Josh Pastner?
That friendship has been over for awhile now and Pastner put a sword through it Monday in an Arizona courtroom.
If you don’t remember, Bell was angry at Pastner and had his girlfriend, Jennifer Pendley, accuse the Georgia Tech coach of sexual assault.
This was proven to be completely and unquestionably a false allegation when Bell spoke to his girlfriend on a prison phone and undercut their case. The couple also tried to persuade a security guard to testify in their favor, offering to pay him for his cooperation (he declined) and their original attorney bailed, saying they might have made the whole thing up.
The judge in the case, Bobbi Berry, didn’t buy it either. In her verdict she said that “[t]he evidence showed that Ronald Bell engaged in a pattern of reactive and retaliatory behavior against Josh Pastner over several months for perceived slights to their friendship/relationship. The prosecution proved that Ronald was motivated to bring about Josh Pastner’s downfall.”
So Monday Pastner got his turn to speak up and he didn't mince words in his impact statement:
“I’m here to tell you that, Judge, there has to be accountability for what they did..It was serious what they did to me, to my family. They did it with a clear conscience with a malicious intent to harm, to ruin me, to do terrible damage to my career, to my life...This was strictly about the intent to ruin...It was pure evil, and there has to be severe consequence on this...This isn’t just something of a trespassing (allegation). The worst crime somebody can commit to somebody – this is what they accused me of. And he knew what he was doing, through greed, through extortion. It was with total malicious intent...They know this was wrong...They know what they did. They know 1,000%...Judge, I know you have a tough job, but if there’s not severe consequences for what they did, then it’s not going to deter him or anybody else from doing this further...You cannot weaponize a sexual assault (allegation) on somebody to try to get money from them and to ruin them. You can’t do that.”
We’ve said on several occasions that we find Pastner a bit of an odd fellow. He’s clearly brilliant but his people skills, maybe, lack something to be desired. We saw this at Memphis when a former player spoke of some unusual things Pastner said him about his boss and again with his inability to realize that becoming friends with someone like Bell, an ex-con and drug addict, and giving him intimate access to his Memphis and Georgia Tech programs, was maybe not the best idea in the world. Bell’s mother could have saved Pastner a lot of trouble: she told Pastner’s attorneys that “[e]very word out of Ron’s mouth is a lie.” Too bad he didn’t know sooner.
If you read that link, you’ll see that some serious questions about how Bell treated Pendley are raised. What’s not mentioned is that Pendley has Asperger’s Syndrome (or at least says she does) and has a hard time making emotional connections with people. Assuming that’s true, and given the other things that are said in that link, it’s not hard to imagine how Bell might have exploited her.
Surprisingly, the despicable Bell faces just 12 months at a maximum. On the bright side, he’s a convicted liar and no one but a fool will ever believe one of his scams again.