The Arizona man who accused Georgia Tech men’s basketball coach Josh Pastner of sexually assaulting his girlfriend has been arrested as a fugitive from Georgia.
Ron Bell, 51, of Tucson, was taken into custody Wednesday on a fugitive warrant from Georgia and is being held without bond, according to the Pima County, Arizona, sheriff’s department. Jail records do not indicate the nature of the Georgia warrant.
Bell, who served prison time in Arizona for prescription-drug fraud, faced numerous theft and drug-related charges while living in the Atlanta area during the 1990s. Cobb County court records show that in February, a private investigator in Arizona inquired about the status of Bell’s old cases.
The arrest is the latest twist in a bizarre story that includes allegations of NCAA rules violations, blackmail and sexual assault. Pastner granted Bell and his girlfriend, Jennifer Pendley, unusual access to his teams at Memphis and at Tech, as well as to his family. But the relationship soured after Bell claimed Pastner had directed him to provide improper benefits to his players. Two Tech players were suspended several games this season over a trip they took to Bell’s home in Arizona.
Pastner sued Bell and Pendley in January, claiming they were trying to extort him over alleged NCAA violations. In February, Bell and Pendley filed a countersuit, alleging Pastner sexually assaulted Pendley several times in 2016. Pastner denied the allegations.
Tech hired a law firm to investigate the accusations against Pastner.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.