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

Joshua Gill | Religion Reporter

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 searching for Martin, whose whereabouts are unknown. (RELATED: Ohio Priest Imprisoned For 12 Years For Sexual Battery Of Teen Girl He Impregnated)

The presiding judge convicted Martin of rape, first-degree child cruelty, child molestation and aggravated sexual battery, according to the 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 in 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 case postponed his sentencing out of respect for the victim, who said she wants to face Martin in court.

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