The father of former Australian tennis player Mark Philippoussis is facing child molestation charges in the United States.
A statement from the San Diego Sheriff, posted on Twitter, said detectives from the child abuse unit arrested Nikolaos Philippoussis, 68, at his home in Mira Mesa.
In a statement, Lieutenant Greg Rylaarsdam of the San Diego Sheriff’s Department said Mr Philippoussis was arrested by detectives from the Child Abuse Unit.
He faces “multiple counts of lewd and lascivious acts with two minor victims”. One charge, sexual intercourse or sodomy, usually relates to a child aged 10 years or younger. Another count was for oral copulation.
San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore said police were looking for “more victims” in the neighbourhoods north of San Diego where Philippoussis worked as a tennis coach.
“[Nikolaos] Philippoussis works as a personal tennis coach … and the alleged molestation victims took tennis lessons from him,” Lieutenant Greg Rylaarsdam said.
— San Diego Sheriff (@SDSheriff) July 25, 2017
“In this particular case we are in the infancy of the investigation,” Lt Rylaarsdam said.
“On a lot of cases we go all the way to the end and get all of our facts in order and all of the evidence lined up and then we go out and arrest somebody.
“But in a case like this where there is the potential of ongoing victimisation we developed probable cause and went out and arrested him when we had that. Our investigation is ongoing from today.
“We have done an investigation up until now which leads us to believe that this did in fact occur and we arrested him and essentially took him out of the population.”
There are no apparent links to victims in Australia.
Mark Philippoussis shot to prominence in the 1990s, reaching a career-high world ranking of number 8.
He reached the finals of the US Open in 1998, where he lost to Pat Rafter, and Wimbledon in 2003, where he lost to Roger Federer.
In June, the former tennis star posted a Father’s Day tribute to Nikolaos on Instagram.
“You were (and still are) always by my side protecting me and guiding me through life,” the post, which featured a photo of Nikolaos with his grandson, read.
“Watching you do the same with your grandson Nicholas is so beautiful to watch and I remain so grateful and blessed.”
Happy Father’s Day dad, you were (and still are) always by my side protecting me and guiding me through life, and now watching you do the same with your grandson Nicholas is so beautiful to watch and I remain so grateful and blessed. Also a Happy Fathers Day to all the fathers today. 🙏🏼💙 #happyfathersday #family #love #thankful #grateful #blessed #beautiful #life
A post shared by Mark Philippoussis (@mark_philippoussis) on
– With ABC, AAP