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Josh Pastner denies allegation of sexual assault in lawsuit

Josh Pastner (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Former Memphis Tigers basketball coach Josh Pastner is facing an allegation of sexual battery by a couple after he filed a defamation suit against them.

Pastner flatly called the accusation “a lie.”

Last month Pastner filed a civil lawsuit against a couple for defamation, extortion and fraud. Now there is a counter claim that accuses Pastner of sexual assault in February 2016, when he was still with the University of Memphis.

Pastner’s lawsuit stemmed from a story from last November— Ron Bell told CBS sports he gave two Georgia Tech players some added benefits that violated NCAA rules and that Pastner knew about it..

In a December phone call with NCAA investigators, Bell told them Pastner had also sexually assaulted his girlfriend.

In a counterclaim filed in Arizona Thursday by Bell and his girlfriend, the two accuse Pastner of sexually assaulting her while Bell was in the shower.

In a statement released by his attorney, Pastner said the woman continued to initiate contact with Pastner and his wife, visiting their home and giving gifts to their children for two years after the alleged assault.

He called Bell “a career criminal” who concocted the complaint “as a last-ditch effort to continue an extortion and blackmail scheme that failed.”