Lawyer of alleged abuse victims welcomes probe

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JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- A South African lawyer representing women who accuse International Tennis Hall of Famer Bob Hewitt of sexually abusing them when they were girls has welcomed the hall's investigation.

Peter van Niekerk told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he and some of the women he represents have already spoken with the Boston attorney the hall hired to investigate allegations.

The inquiry could result in expulsion from the hall for Hewitt, who won 15 doubles and mixed doubles Grand Slam titles in the 1960s and 1970s and was inducted into the hall in 1992.

Attempts to reach the Australian-born Hewitt, who lives in South Africa, were not immediately successful.

Van Niekerk became involved in the case because he's also a director of a South African organization that lobbies on behalf of child abuse victims. Niekerk says a criminal investigation has moved slowly.