Winner of 15 Grand Slams in both men’s and mixed doubles, Bob Hewitt was granted parole on Tuesday after he served three and a half years of prison from his 6 years long sentence that he received after he was found guilty of raping two South African girls, that he had been coaching in the 1980s and 1990s, and assaulting another one.
The decision of the Correctional Services Department in Johannesburg of granting Hewitt a parole will have the former tennis great free by April 24. It is to be noted that Bob’s last parole request was denied. "The parole board reached a decision to place Mr.
Hewitt on parole. There are certain conditions attached and he will have to comply with those conditions up until his six-year sentence expires." said the CSD’s Singabakho Nxumalo. As good this news can be for the 80 years old Hewitt, as bad these are for his victims who declared themselves disappointed by the decision.
"The system has failed me again,’’ Olivia Jasriel told the Boston Globe after she reportedly drove 650 miles from Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth to attend Bob’s hearing and oppose his parole request.
Another one of Hewitt’s victims, Heather Crowe Conner, was deeply upset by the decision. "I’m shocked with this news of his parole. He should be serving several life sentences, and he’s been granted parole?’’ Conner said.
“It seems like I don’t matter. It seems like other women don’t matter. How flipped upside-down this world is.’’ she continued as quoted by the Globe. The blameworthy deeds of Bob Hewitt cast a big shadow over his illustrious tennis career during which he shared the court with great names of the tennis world like Billie Jean King and John McEnroe.
The same condamnable behavior got Hewitt evicted from the Tennis Hall of Fame.