Georgia Minister Runs Out Of Courthouse Before Conviction For Child Rape Is Pronounced

A minister fled an Atlanta courthouse before the judge pronounced his conviction for child rape, prompting a police manhunt for the newly minted convict.

Don Martin, minister of The Cathedral of Faith Church of God in Christ, sat through testimony for five days at the courthouse, then left Tuesday and failed to return for closing arguments and the verdict. Authorities are now searching for Martin, whose whereabouts are unknown.

The presiding judge convicted Martin of rape, first-degree child cruelty, child molestation, and aggravated sexual battery, according to Atlanta Journal Constitution. A girl accused Martin of sexually assaulting her repeatedly from age 7 to 13. Authorities arrested Martin in 2014. He was released on a $15,000 bond, required to wear an ankle monitor, and indicted on 2015. A superior court judge changed the conditions of Martin’s bond in 2017, however, which allowed him to take off the ankle monitor.

The judge presiding over Martin’s current case has postponed his sentencing out of respect for the victim, who said that she wants to face Martin in court.

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