“Super fan” charged with plotting sexual assault accusation against college coach
ATLANTA, Georgia (WDEF) – A couple have been charged with a conspiracy to extort Georgia Tech with a sexual assault accusation.
They were indicted by a federal grand jury in Georgia.
Prosecutors say Ronald Bell and Jennifer Pendley conspired to make a false sexual assault claim against the Georgia Tech men’s basketball coach.
They then demanded money to retract the claim.
Prosecutors say they roped in a Georgia Tech security guard to claim he had witnessed the assault on Pendley.
She then filed a lawsuit claiming sexual battery, sexual assault, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
They say Bell told the guard they could get $20 million dollars in the case and would share some of it with him.
But the guard eventually admitted to investigators that it was all made up.
The case dates back to when Josh Pastner coached at Memphis.
Bell was a former jail inmate, addicted to drugs, who latched onto Pastner.
He became a close enough friend and booster of the coach.
Bell attended practices, photo-bombed the team, and even went to the coach’s home, before turning on him in 2017.
That’s when Bell went public with claims of illegal recruiting and later sexual harassment of his girlfriend.
The two filed lawsuits against each other, which the coach won.
The indictment accuses Ronald Bell, 56, and Jennifer Pendley, 50, both from Oro Valley, Arizona, committed conspiracy to transmit a threat interstate, conspiracy to extort property from another, and attempted extortion.
U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan says “The Federal Bureau of Investigation and our other federal law enforcement partners are especially proficient in exposing false allegations designed to extort money. ”