Published Sat, Jul 17, 2004
AIKEN, S.C. (AP) - An Aiken-area tennis pro who once coached at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Brandenton, Fla., was arrested Friday night on charges that he molested students.
John Wesley Dingle, 43, surrendered to police Friday night, Aiken Police Sgt. David Turno said.
Dingle faces four counts of criminal sexual conduct in the third degree, four counts of lewd acts on a child, three counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor and two counts of common law assault.
Two identified victims are under 17, Turno said.
An investigation began in December after a parent filed a complaint, Turno said.
In 1998, Dingle left Aiken to coach at the Bollettieri Academy, where he worked with future stars, such as Venus and Serena Williams. He moved back to Aiken in 2000.
Dingle had coached the South Aiken High School girls' tennis team, but hasn't worked for the school district in at least a year, Aiken School Superintendent Linda Eldridge said.
"He was a very talented coach and probably one of the best coaches I ever had. He took his time and a had a unique coaching style and really knew the game," Royce Borden, the president of the 500-member Aiken Area Tennis Association, said.