Ex-tennis star Bob Hewitt denied appeal for rape verdict
Pretoria: Disgraced former tennis Grand Slam champion Bob Hewitt will not be allowed to appeal a ruling that found him guilty of raping and assaulting young girls he coached in the 1980s and 1990s.
“The application for leave to appeal the conviction is refused,” Judge Bert Bam said Friday at the High Court in Pretoria, local news agency News24 reported.
Hewitt will, however, be allowed to appeal his six-year jail sentence, with the judge noting the former athlete’s health and age.
The 75-year-old had pleaded not guilty to the two charges of rape and one of sexual assault that were brought against him by three women in 2013.
He was found guilty in March, but has avoided imprisonment, as his lawyers pursued his appeal applications. Hewitt won numerous Grand Slam doubles titles during his career in the 1960s and 1970s and was named to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1992.
But his name was removed from the hall of fame following a series of sexual abuse allegations. Born in Dubbo, Australia, Hewitt has spent much of his life in South Africa.