At the age of 75, former tennis champion, Bob Hewitt, has been found guilty of rape and sexual assault. Bob Hewitt was born in Australia but became an SA citizen when he married a South African.
According to iol:
Former Grand Slam tennis champion Bob Hewitt was on Monday found guilty of two counts of rape and one of sexual assault by the High Court sitting in Palm Ridge.
The Australian-born Hewitt, 75, 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 had pleaded not guilty.
Details of his exploits came out in court, including this one, from timeslive:
Hewitt, 75, wearing a light brown suit and a yellow shirt, sat in the dock supported by his wife, and listened to his lawyer Terry Price cross-examine Theresa Tolken, who has given her permission to be named.
Hewitt has pleaded not guilty to two charges of rape and one of indecent assault.
Tolken told the Johannesburg High Court, sitting in Palm Ridge, how Hewitt, who was her tennis coach, allegedly touched her inappropriately and forced her to perform oral sex on him 34 years ago, when she was 12, and lived in Bedfordview, Johannesburg.
Price asked her: “Mr Hewitt would take you home most times after practice?”
“And despite this ongoing sexual assault, you got into the car with him?”
Tolken said she was brought up to respect adults and to do as she was told.
“He would get into your head. When I did tell my parents to pick me up, that was my outcry.”
Tolken and her mother have returned from their home in New Zealand to testify against Hewitt.
Price persisted: “[Is there] any reason you didn’t say you aren’t comfortable?”
She said: “Then I would have had to elaborate on why I was not comfortable with him….I was scared, I was 12, 13 years old. I was scared, I was told by Hewitt not to say anything.”
Tolken testified earlier that she eventually told her mother about Hewitt’s alleged abuse after she heard her sister and a friend talking about kissing boys.
She said she had told the girls that she had been kissed by Hewitt, prompting her sister to tell their mother.
Price asked: “Then you didn’t hesitate to tell her?” She said: “The door had opened, the opportunity was there.
“I told my mother he made me take off my panties, told me to lie on top of him in the bath….I told her he tried to put his penis in me.”
The court heard that a case was opened the following day, but was not pursued for various reasons.
These included the fact that the case was not opened in the area where the rape — or attempted rape as it was defined in law at the time –allegedly happened and concerns about how she would be treated in court.
Tolken testified about three letters Hewitt wrote to her at the time.
“He would put letters in my tennis racquet bag and tell me he has left something in my bag for me and I am to destroy it when I have read it.”
In the letters, attributed to Hewitt, he wrote of his “love” for the child.
One excerpt read: “I am so flat I can’t hold you, you are the only one who can lift me up.”.
Another read: “I can only think you think of me as a sex maniac, I am not.”
Price asked Tolken: “He never actually said ‘I don’t want anyone to see those letters because they are sexual in nature?”
She replied: “No”.
Tolken said: “I am flabbergasted….What Hewitt did to me… is embedded in my head for the rest of my life.
“I am here to see justice done, Bob Hewitt has to pay for what he has done. To say I am talking nonsense is ridiculous.”
But Hewitt is not alone in his belief that he is not guilty – his wife stands by his side.
Hewitt’s wife Delaille has testified that she did not believe her husband committed the crimes.
With three complainants, a bunch of detail and a guilty verdict, one wonders if she still believes him?
Here’s another woman’s story – where Bob told her rape is enjoyable.
To see Bob Hewitt’s tennis accolades and career – click here.
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