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Former US tennis player and current ATP Tour board member Justin Gimelstob has been sentenced to three years probation and 60 hours of community service following an assault described as ‘violent and unprovoked’ by a judge.
Gimelstob, 41, was sentenced on Monday after pleading no contest to felony battery charges following an incident in October last year.
Gimelstob was accused of attacking former friend Randall Kaplan while the venture capitalist, his wife and their two-year-old daughter were trick-or-treating on Halloween.
Kaplan had sought a restraining order against Gimelstob following the attack, alleging the former tennis star struck him more than 50 times while threatening to kill him.
Gimelstob, a two-time grand slam mixed doubles champion, was also ordered to undergo 52 weeks of anger management classes.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Gimelstob had threatened him before the attack because of his friendship with the tennis official’s estranged wife.
Gimelstob had earlier vowed to fight the charges against him, stating in December he would present “the true and complete facts concerning this matter”, claiming Kaplan had a history of “toxic interference” in his life.
However, Gimelstob backed down during Monday’s court hearing, accepting responsibility for the assault and stating there “is no place for physical violence in society.”
Kaplan, meanwhile, said in a statement read to the court that the attack had left him “badly bruised and in a tremendous amount of physical pain” and that he had “never been so scared in my life.”
His wife, Madison Kaplan, said the trauma of witnessing her husband being assaulted had contributed to a miscarriage she suffered shortly afterwards.
Judge Upinder Kalra warned Gimelstob if he made any statements to the media claiming he was not guilty, his misdemeanour deal could be revoked.
The move was prompted by Gimelstob shaking his head and saying “no” and “that didn’t happen”, as Kaplan read a statement to the court describing the brutal attack.
“He couldn’t stop with his movements, his shaking of his head, statements of ‘not true’ that I could hear from here,” Kalra told Gimelstob’s attorney, Shawn Holley.
“His behaviour indicates to me that he is not accepting any responsibility.
“If he can’t control himself in a criminal court, how can I trust he’s going to control himself out there in the court of public opinion?”
According to the UK Telegraph, as Gimelstob entered the courtroom he handed them printed pictures from Madison Kaplan’s Instagram account, saying the photographs of the couple holidaying and at a birthday party showed that the attack had little affect on them.
Kalra added: “After a plea is entered, if a person goes out on the courtroom steps and denies responsibility, the court can bring the person right back in and set aside that plea, really easily.
“If he denies responsibility there are consequences. I can set aside this plea… he’s free to have a trial if he wants one.”
ATP to decide on future
The ATP response says a decision will be made on Gimelstob’s future now a verdict has been reached.
“Justin Gimelstob holds an elected position as one of the three player representatives on the ATP board of directors and under our organisation’s by-laws his position is therefore a matter of review for the ATP player council and/or the ATP board.” a statement from the governing body said.
“The decision was taken to let the judicial process run its course before any judgment was made on his future, so with that process complete this is now a subject for review by the board and/or the player council.
“As a related matter, the election for the role of the next Americas player representative on the ATP board – the position currently held by Gimelstob – will take place as scheduled on Tuesday May 14, in Rome.”