Former Grand Slam champion facing sex abuse allegations

Jun 20, 2013, 18:40 IST | PTI

73-year-old Bob Hewitt, a winner of 15 Grand Slam doubles titles, was summoned to appear in South African court to face charges of having abused and raped girls he coached for close to three decades

Former Grand Slam tennis doubles champion Bob Hewitt has been served a summons to appear in a South African court and face charges following allegations he sexually abused young girls he coached decades ago, prosecutors told The Associated Press today.

South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority said the summons was served on the 73-year-old Hewitt on Saturday.

Hewitt was ordered to appear at Boksburg Magistrate's Court near Johannesburg on Aug. 16, when he will learn what criminal charges he faces.

The NPA would not say what the charges are against Hewitt. NPA spokesperson Phindi Louw said Hewitt, who is believed to live in the town of Addo on South Africa's south coast, would be informed of the charges when he appears in court.

Hewitt has been at the center of a long investigation into accusations he abused and raped girls as far back as the 1970s and through to the 1990s.

Recognized as one of the greatest doubles players of all time and a winner of 15 Grand slam doubles titles, the Australian-born Hewitt was indefinitely suspended from the International Tennis Hall of Fame last year due to the allegations.

When contacted by the AP today, a man who identified himself on the telephone said he had no knowledge of any charges. "I think it is best you call me in a month or so," he said, before declining further comment.

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