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Another parole hearing for child rapist and disgraced tennis champ Bob Hewitt

Former tennis star and child rapist Bob Hewitt, 80, who was sentenced to six years in jail for preying on young girls, is to have another parole hearing.
Former tennis star and child rapist Bob Hewitt, 80, who was sentenced to six years in jail for preying on young girls, is to have another parole hearing.

A parole hearing date has been set for now 80-year-old child rapist Bob Hewitt.

“This is to confirm that parole consideration for Robert Anthony John Hewitt will be conducted in the month of March 2020. This is in line with the court order, enjoining the department of correctional services and correctional supervision and parole board to schedule a parole hearing within 40 days,” said department of correctional services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo on Wednesday. 

According to Women and Men Against Child Abuse (WMACA), which advocated for his incarceration, the parole board would hear his case on March 24. 

The disgraced tennis champ, who was convicted in March 2015, is having a second go at parole after being found guilty of raping two teenage tennis pupils and sexually assaulting a third in the 1980s and 1990s.

He was sentenced to six years but was jailed only in September 2016 after an unsuccessful Constitutional Court appeal.

When he was granted parole last year, correctional services said he had served the minimum time required to be considered for parole.

However, justice minister Ronald Lamola halted Hewitt's parole after it came to light that his victims were not consulted before his application was considered.

On Wednesday, the WMACA said it was disappointed Hewitt was again up for release.

The group’s Miranda Jordan said: “We are concerned about the trivialisation of the abuse that his victims have suffered at his hands, first sexually and now by means of a process that expects them to travel from Gauteng to Port Elizabeth to petition against the release of a man who raped or sexually abused them, and at personal cost, both financial and emotional.

“All of this to ensure that a semblance of justice remains for them? It speaks volumes about how broken our system is.”

The department of correctional services said it had followed all the necessary steps ahead of the hearing. 

“The victims of crime were briefed and further invited to make representation,” Nxumalo said. 

WMACA is calling for Hewitt to be kept behind bars, saying he has shown no remorse for his crimes.

His trial exposed how he engaged in an inappropriate relationship with one of his tennis students, who was just 12 years old at the time.

The court heard how Hewitt touched her inappropriately, forced her to perform oral sex on him and tried to engage in sexual intercourse with her. 

Another victim was raped by Hewitt in his car. She was also 12 years old at the time. 

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