Local News

Nick Philippoussis suffers massive stroke in prison and is in a catatonic state

The Australian tennis coach will likely avoid trial for allegedly sexually assaulting two young girls.

By Kate Wagner

Australian tennis coach Nikolaos Philippoussis has suffered a massive stroke while in US jail for sexual assault charges from two young girls he trained in California.

Philippoussis, father of iconic Australian tennis player Mark Philippoussis, is catatonic after a huge stroke left him hospitalised for weeks and unexpected to recover.

The 68-year-old has been in custody since his July arrest for allegedly sexually abusing two nine-year-old girls he coached in California, but he will now likely not face a trial for the charges.

Judge Michael Washington lifted the $US9.2 million bail (A$11.7m) because his health is so dire and rescheduled the hearing to June to assess his condition.

The charges against Philippoussis include lewd and lascivious acts with two children.
In July, Deputy District Attorney Garret Wong said the alleged assaults had taken place over a year and were regarded as extremely serious

"I think what's most concerning is the defendant being in a position of trust, and it's probably any parent's worst nightmare of having someone in that position of trust, a teacher, a coach, an instructor and then to violate that trust repeatedly over this amount of time, yeah, it's serious," he said after the brief arraignment.

The most serious of the 14 counts allege Philippoussis engaged in "oral copulation/sexual penetration with a child ten years old or younger". All 14 counts carry a 15-years-to-life sentencing range.

"Adding that all up, the maximum exposure is 210 years to life," Mr Wong said.

Despite attending court in July to support his father, Mark made no comment to the media.