Tennis star’s dad pleads not guilty to molesting two 9-year-old girls

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VISTA, Calif. -- The father of Davis Cup champion and one-time Wimbledon finalist Mark Philippoussis pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges he sexually assaulted two 9-year-old girls he taught while working as a private tennis instructor in northern San Diego County.

“As far as we can tell, this took the entire family by surprise," said Ryan Tegnelia, attorney for Nikolaos Philippoussis.

Philippoussis, 68, is being held on $9.2 million bail and was ordered to surrender his passport in the event he posts that bail.

The defendant 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. Each of those 12 charges has an allegation that the crime was committed against more than one person, said prosecutor Garret Wong.

“Probably a parent’s worst nightmare -- having someone in that position of trust -- a teacher, a coach -- violate that trust repeatedly," said Wong.

According to a criminal complaint, the alleged crimes took place over the last year at the Fairbanks Ranch Country Club, at the defendant's residence and in his car.

Philippoussis faces a maximum of 210 years to life in prison if convicted, the prosecutor said.

"At this point, we don’t have any information as to any other victims," said Wong.

A readiness conference was set for Aug. 31 and a preliminary hearing for Oct. 5.

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