Probe into Hewitt done

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bob hewitt AP FILE - This 1973 file photo shows Bob Hewitt. The Rhode Island-based International Tennis Hall of Fame has hired a Boston attorney to investigate allegations that one-time doubles champion Hewitt sexually abused underage girls he coached. (AP Photo, File)

An investigation into rape allegations against former top tennis player Bob Hewitt has been concluded, police said on Thursday.

“The matter is at the director of public prosecutions in Johannesburg for a decision,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini.

“The investigation has been finalised. We are waiting for a decision on whether someone should be charged.”

Dlamini said he did not know when this decision would be made.

According the Associated Press (AP), Suellen Sheehan, 43, a Joburg businesswoman, asked police in December to open a rape investigation against Hewitt.

She alleges Hewitt began to abuse her when he started coaching her when she was nine-years-old. She said the abuse continued until she was 14. Sheehan only spoke out about the matter last year.

She said she knew of other women in South Africa, the US, and New Zealand who said they were also abused by Hewitt. She did not say how many accusers there were, according to the AP.

Hewitt, 72, an Australian-born former doubles champion, now lives in Addo in the Eastern Cape.

He played tennis in the 1960s and 1970s, coached young players in South Africa in the 1980s, and was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 1992.

Last year Sheehan and other accusers asked the Hall of Fame to remove Hewitt from its ranks. The Newport, Rhode Island-based hall on Tuesday told the AP it had hired an attorney to investigate the allegations against Hewitt. – Sapa

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