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Josh Pastner’s accusers suggest allegations fabricated in calls from prison

Louisville v Georgia Tech

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 07: Head coach Josh Pastner of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets coaches his team during a time out during the Yellow Jackets’ game against the Louisville Cardinals at Hank McCamish Pavilion on January 7, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images)

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If an investigation commissioned by Georgia Tech finding that the sexual assault allegations against Josh Pastner lacked credibility wasn’t enough to convince you that he was the victim of an elaborate con, then the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s most recent report on the saga should be.

Pastner’s lawyers filed on Friday court documents that contained snippets of recorded jailhouse conversations between Jennifer Pendley, Pastner’s accuser, and her boyfriend, a one-time friend of Pastner named Ron Bell, that intimated that the allegations made by the couple were fabricated.

“I’m sick and tired of being in jail because you filed the lawsuit,” Bell in a video call that was recorded last spring.

“Well,” Pendley replied, “whose fault – why did I file it?”

“Did you hear what you just said on the phone?” Bell said, according to a transcript of the conversation. “Look at me. You are so stupid. ... This could cost you your lawsuit. Dumb move. Dumb move. On a recorded line. Dumb move.”

That was far from the only interaction between the two that was cited by Pastner’s lawyers.

This also came roughly a month after lawyers for Bell and Pendley formally sought to drop them as clients after they failed to produce a piece of evidence -- a t-shirt that Pastner used to clean up after sexually assaulting Pendley -- that proved their allegations to be true.

The allegations were made by Bell and his girlfriend in February, coming after a months-long drama that ensnared the Yellow Jacket head coach and two of his players. In November, Bell provided CBS Sports with text messages, receipts and photos as evidence to back up a claim that he provided impermissible benefits to two Georgia Tech basketball players, Josh Okogie and Tardic Jackson. Okogie and Jackson were eventually suspended for six and three games, respectively, by the NCAA. After Pastner sued Bell and his girlfriend in January, Bell went public with the sexual assault allegations.

Prior to their falling out, Bell — an ex-con and recovering drug addict — and Pastner were close friends dating back to Pastner’s days at Arizona.

“I am disgusted and devastated by the actions of these two individuals to whom I showed compassion,’’ Pastner said in a statement released by his attorney in January. “My family and I are victims of fraud and extortion and the extent to which these individuals have gone to harm us is truly unfathomable.’’