Bob Hewitt found guilty of rape

2015-03-23 11:48
Bob Hewitt (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Bob Hewitt (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Former Grand Slam tennis champion Bob Hewitt was on Monday found guilty of two counts of rape and one of sexual assault by the South Gauteng High Court sitting in Palm Ridge.

"The State's evidence against the accused is overwhelming," Judge Bert Bam said.

"The three complainants have basic rights. Time did not erase the crimes. A guilty person should not go unpunished. The scales of justice tip against the accused," he said.

Tennis lessons

Australian-born Hewitt, 75, a former Grand Slam tennis champion, was on trial for the alleged rape of two of his former students, Theresa "Twiggy" Tolken and Suellen Sheehan in the 1980s, and the sexual assault of a third woman, who may not be named, in the 1990s. He gave tennis lessons to the girls. He pleaded not guilty.

During the trial Tolken testified that Hewitt touched her inappropriately and forced her to perform oral sex on him 34 years ago when she was 12. They were driving to Sun City at the time.

A third woman, who cannot be named, claimed Hewitt had rubbed up against her while coaching her in the 1990s.

Another of Hewitt's students testified in his defence. The woman, who may not be named, said Hewitt was a strict coach but was never inappropriate. Hewitt coached her and Sheehan in the 1980s.

Hewitt's wife Delaille has testified that she did not believe her husband committed the crimes.

The defence team closed its case on 18 February. State prosecutor Carina Coetzee tried to apply to re-open her case to call another witness but this was unsuccessful.

Read more on:    bob hewitt  |  johannesburg  |  crime
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