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Witness says he lied about Josh Pastner sexual harassment allegations

Georgia Tech v North Carolina

CHAPEL HILL, NC - JANUARY 20: Head coach Josh Pastner of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets reacts against the North Carolina Tar Heels during their game at Dean Smith Center on January 20, 2018 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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A lawsuit filed in February by Jennifer Pendley and her fiancée Ron Bell that alleged Georgia Tech basketball coach Josh Pastner sexually harassed Pendley took another hit Monday, as it was reported that a key witness has recanted his initial statement backing up the couple’s claim.

According to Caitlin Schmidt of the Arizona Daily Star, security guard Christopher Meegan recanted his statement that he saw Pastner grab Pendley inappropriately inside Georgia Tech’s basketball arena in November 2016. Meegan is now saying that he was offered money by Pendley and Bell to fabricate the story, per the report.

This development comes less than three months after Georgia Tech conducted its own investigation into the matter and cleared Pastner of any wrongdoing.

At one point in time Pastner and Bell were friends while the former was an assistant at Arizona. But the two had a falling out, which led to Bell stating that he provided impermissible benefits to then-Georgia Tech players Tadric Jackson and Josh Okogie. Both players missed time during the 2016-17 season as a result of Bell’s statements.

In early July it was reported that phone conversations between Pendley and Bell -- who was incarcerated at the time of the calls -- intimated that their allegations that Pastner harassed Pendley had been fabricated.