My daughter said nothing about rape - dad

2015-02-17 19:05
Bob Hewitt (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Bob Hewitt (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Suellen Sheehan's father Michael on Tuesday testified that his daughter did not reveal she had been raped by former tennis champion Bob Hewitt.

Delivering his evidence-in-chief in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, sitting in Palm Ridge, Michael said that after he and his wife Judy heard of the allegations, his wife met Sheehan for coffee and asked her what had happened.

"Suellen said he did this," Michael said, gesturing that Hewitt looked down her dress at her breasts.

"I said it may have happened at 12 but you're 41 now. What can you do about it? Get over it," said Michael.

Under cross-examination by prosecutor Carina Coetzee, he said he told her this as she had made it a big thing and he did not want it to interfere with her adult life.

Coetzee asked whether his response could have prevented Sheehan from going further and disclosing that she had been raped.

He replied that it was possible.

The court heard that the first time Michael and his wife had confronted their daughter about her allegations, she had told police that her father had raped her.

Terry Price, for Hewitt, asked Michael whether he had raped his daughter.

"Of course not," he said, with a chuckle.

Sheehan sat at the back of the court. She wore a black dress and sat with her arms crossed as her father testified.

As Michael completed his testimony and walked out of court, Sheehan smiled at him as he walked by.

She claims Hewitt had raped her in 1982 in his car after fetching her from school for tennis practice.

She was 12 years old at the time.

Another woman has testified that Hewitt raped her in the 1980s.

A third woman said Hewitt had sexually assaulted her in the 1990s.

Hewitt, now 75, has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Read more on:    bob hewitt  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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