Judge denies state on Hewitt case
JOHANNESBURG — The state was yesterday denied permission to reopen its case against former Grand Slam tennis champion and rape accused Bob Hewitt.
Prosecutor Carina Coetzee had asked that Judge Bert Bam reopen the case so she could call another witness to verify the testimony of Theresa “Twiggy” Tolken.
“I am not persuaded by the state to reopen this case,” Bam ruled.
The Australian- born Hewitt ( 75) is on trial for the alleged rape of two of his former students, Tolken and Suellen Sheehan in the 1980s, and the sexual assault of a third woman, who may not be named, in the 1990s. He gave tennis lessons to the girls. He has pleaded not guilty.
Terry Price, for Hewitt, objected to the state reopening its case, claiming it had caused emotional and financial strain on the Hewitts.
“The state has had four years to trace [ her],” said Price, adding that the case was not coming to an end.
Coetzee said they had tried several avenues to track down the witness, now living in America. She claimed the witness was available today and could be cross- examined via Skype.
Judge Bam expects the state to hand in its heads of argument on March 2 and the defence on March 5. Closing arguments would be heard on March 23.