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Convicted rapist Bob Hewitt to be freed on parole

Bob Hewitt (File)
Bob Hewitt (File)

Former tennis champion and convicted child rapist Bob Hewitt was on Tuesday granted parole which will see him released next month, the South African correctional services ministry said.

Australia-born Hewitt was convicted in May 2015 of raping two girls aged 12 and 13 in the early 1980s, and of indecently assaulting a 17-year-old girl in 1994.

He was sentenced to six years imprisonment and has served three years, six months and 22 days of his sentence at a facility in the coastal Eastern Cape province.

"The Department of Correctional Services can confirm the parole placement of Robert Anthony John Hewitt... with effect from 24 April 2020," correctional services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said in a statement.

Nxumalo said Hewitt had served the minimum sentence period that must be served before being considered for parole.

Hewitt was also assessed by special services experts, including social workers and psychologists, to determine his suitability for parole.

The disgraced former tennis star's previous attempts to get his sentence reduced were thrown out by the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court in 2016.

Born in Dubbo, Australia, the now 80-year-old Hewitt has lived in South Africa for most of his life.

The former multiple Gram Slam doubles champion's name was removed from the International Tennis Hall of Fame after a series of sexual abuse allegations against him surfaced in 2013.

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