Ex-tennis professional Bob Hewitt freed on parole

The former tennis champion and convicted child rapist walks out of jail after being granted parole.

Bob Hewitt was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment in 2015.   -  AP

Former tennis champion and convicted child rapist Bob Hewitt on Friday walked out of jail after he was granted parole, 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 been incarcerated at a jail in the coastal Eastern Cape province. Hewitt, 80, served the minimum sentence period required before he was considered for parole.

“We can confirm the parole placement and the parolee is now home,” the ministry spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo told AFP.

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 Australia, Hewitt has lived in South Africa for most of his life.

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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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