Former Grand Slam doubles champion and one-time Tennis Hall of Famer Bob Hewitt was indicted Friday on charges of rape and sexual assault of minors and will go on trial in February, his lawyer told The Associated Press.
Attorney Alwyn Griebenow said Hewitt denies two charges of rape and one of sexual assault of girls he coached in South Africa decades ago.
Walking with the aid of a stick, the 74-year-old Hewitt attended Boksburg Magistrate's Court near Johannesburg and told the court he understood the charges. Hewitt was not asked to enter a plea. Griebenow said he would plead not guilty to all three charges at his trial.
"Mr. Hewitt is relieved that we at least now have a trial date," Griebenow said. He said Hewitt denied having any sexual contact with the alleged victims or making any "sexual advances" toward them. Hewitt was focusing on "putting the record straight" at the trial, Griebenow added.
In South Africa, a defendant is served with indictment papers before his case is sent to a higher court for trial. Hewitt was charged last year and will stand trial from Feb. 9 at South Gauteng High Court, Griebenow said.
He is accused of raping a girl under the age of 16 in 1981, raping another girl under the age of 16 in 1982, and sexually assaulting a third girl under the age of 18 in 1994, all in South Africa.
The first alleged offense is said to have occurred two years after Hewitt won the last of his 15 Grand Slam doubles and mixed doubles titles. Two of the alleged offenses are said to have occurred in the city of Boksburg, east of Johannesburg, and one in the Sun City casino resort in northern South Africa.
At least one other woman in the United States has accused Hewitt of sexually abusing her when she was a minor.
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