Josh Pastner
Head coach Josh Pastner of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets coaches against the North Carolina Tar Heels at the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Jan. 20, 2018. Peyton Williams/UNC/Getty Images

Last month, Georgia Tech basketball coach Josh Pastner filed a defamation lawsuit against an Arizona woman and her boyfriend. On Thursday, the same woman fired back with a countersuit alleging the coach sexually assaulted her in a Houston hotel room in February 2016.

Pastner filed a defamation lawsuit as well as a restraining order against Jennifer Pendley and her boyfriend Ron Bell in January for trying to extort and blackmail information out of him, which would damage the coach’s reputation and cause him to lose the job. The lawsuit added when this didn’t work, they tried to defame him.

Pastner had met Bell when the former was in his final season as Memphis Tigers’ coach and the latter was an assistant coach at Arizona from 2002-2008, and have been friends since then.

In the counter-lawsuit, Pendley claimed Pastner assaulted her in the hotel room when he was a coach for the Memphis Tigers. The lawsuit stated Pastner masturbated in front of Pendley when Bell was in the shower and tried to force her to perform oral sex. He also, allegedly, threatened her not to mention the incident to anyone otherwise he would make their “lives hell.” Pendley added Pastner inflicted emotional harm to her "as a result of sexual assault, sexual battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress."

The lawsuit also claimed Pastner harassed Pendley 11 more times from mid-February 2016 to early March 2016 by touching her inappropriately or “whispering obscenities and innuendos” when they were alone. He repeatedly threatened her not to bring up the Houston incident, the lawsuit stated.

Pastner lawyer, Scott Tompsett of Kansas City, denied the allegations in a statement to ESPN.

"There was no sexual assault," Tompsett said. "It is a lie. Josh never acted improperly with Ms. Pendley. Never."

He added the couple started alleging the assault "only after their two-month-long scheme to blackmail Josh by claiming he knowingly participated in NCAA violations failed."

"In fact, contrary to the claim she filed today, for two years after Ms. Pendley alleges the first assault occurred, Ms. Pendley continued to proactively and enthusiastically initiate communication and contact with Josh and his wife, visiting their home, giving gifts to their children, attending games, and publicly expressing positive statements about Josh and his character," Tompsett said in the statement.

Pastner’s defamation lawsuit had claimed the couple "began a malicious campaign to defame Pastner, and to extort and blackmail Pastner, by threatening to release and releasing to the public, the media, Georgia Tech and the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA), false and patently untrue information Bell and Pendley believed and intended would be extremely damaging to Pastner's reputation and would result in Pastner losing his job at Georgia Tech and being penalized by the NCAA."

Bell had alleged he provided Georgia Tech basketball players Tadric Jackson and Josh Okogie, of Pastner’s program, with illegal benefits such as paying for them to fly to his home and also paying for their meals. Bell added he sent the players shoes and shirts also. Due to Bell’s claims, the two players were suspended for nine games.

Regarding the counter-lawsuit, Pastner’s lawyer Tompsett released a copy of an Oro Valley Police Department, Tucson, incident in which the authorities had checked on Bell and Pendley’s house April 4 after her father called the police and said his daughter told her friends “she is in fear for her life and he is physically and verbally abusive.”

During the visit, Pendley told the officers things were fine now and that she didn’t want to talk about the situation anymore, CBS Sports reported.

Tompsett's statement claimed Bell has a "history of abusive, manipulative and controlling behavior toward women."

"We are confident evidence will show Mr. Bell has been similarly abusive, manipulative and controlling of Ms. Pendley, and the truth about the abusive and dysfunctional relationship between Mr. Bell and Ms. Pendley, and the nefarious reasons for their malicious lies about Josh, will be fully revealed in court and before a jury," Tompsett’s statement read.