Los Angeles - The father of retired Australian tennis star
Mark Philippoussis pleaded "not guilty" on Thursday to charges he
sexually assaulted two nine year old girls he coached in California.
Nikolaos Salvator Philippoussis, 68 is being held on $9.2
million bail and was ordered to surrender his passport in the event that he
posts bail and is released.
He was working as a private tennis instructor in San Diego
County at the time of the alleged assaults and is charged with two counts of
sexual penetration/oral copulation with a child under 10 and a dozen counts of
lewd act on a child under 14.
According to a criminal complaint, the alleged crimes took
place over the last year at the Fairbanks Ranch Country Club, in a car, and at
the coach's residence.
He faces a maximum of 210 years to life in prison if
convicted, prosecutor Garret Wong said.
A readiness conference in the case was set for August 31 and
a preliminary hearing for October 5 in Vista, California, Superior Court.
The San Diego Union Tribune reported that Mark
Philippoussis, a Davis Cup champion with Australia and former Wimbledon finalist,
attended Thursday's court proceedings.
Nick Philippoussis's attorney Ryan Tegnelia told the
newspaper that his client "maintains his innocence, obviously.
"He's looking forward to diligently defending his
case," Tegnelia said.