Former tennis star and convicted rapist Bob Hewitt’s victim Olivia Jasriel, who was 12 at the time of her rape, has poignantly asked how her attacker would only serve two years’ imprisonment when she was given a life sentence.
“I got a life sentence while he got two years – can someone please tell me why that is okay?” she asked.
Jasriel, who laid charges of rape against Hewitt in 2011, was reacting to Hewitt’s application for parole after serving just two years of his six-year jail term.
“I feel like I am being raped again just because he wants to go home. I have to stay in a traumatised state to keep him in jail. I feel like I will have failed if he does go home,” she said yesterday.
The disgraced tennis ace was sentenced to six years for the rape of two women and sexual assaulting another during his coaching stints in the ’80s and ’90s.
Hewitt, 78, has been serving his time at the St Albans Prison in Port Elizabeth, which is close to his home in Addo, since September 2016.
The news of Hewitt’s parole bid came as a blow for his victims, Jasriel, Theresa “Twiggy” Tolken and a third victim, who has remained anonymous, who have sent their submissions against Hewitt’s parole to the Parole Board.
Miranda Jordan-Friedmann, director of Women and Men Against Child Abuse, said the trio have demonstrated to the board they remain broken human beings because of Hewitt’s attacks.
“They are not allowed to move on; they are not allowed to have some semblance of closure, despite Hewitt’s sentence of six years being upheld in the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein where they were vindicated,” she said.
Jordan-Friedmann said what counted was that they were still hurting and damaged human beings, who must remain that way to keep their abuser in jail.
Tolken asked what she must do to keep Hewitt behind bars because she could not submit her rejections to the parole board every two years.
She lamented that the impact of the attack extended to their families and affected relationships, adding that her 81-year-old mother went through hell and still lived with the guilt of allowing Hewitt to coach her daughter.
The elderly woman is still making statements in an effort to keep Hewitt locked up.