Defendant convicted in absence, now sentencing withheld until his capture
Atlanta–Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr., announces the RAPE and CHILD MOLESTATION conviction, by a Fulton County Superior Court Jury, of 45-year-old DON MARTIN. Despite his conviction, Martin is now a fugitive of justice after absconding during his trial.
On August 17, 2011, Atlanta Police responded to a private residence in Atlanta on a sexual battery call. When the Officer and Investigator arrived, they were met by a young girl who said Don Martin had touched her private parts repeatedly for several years at locations in College Park and Atlanta. The victim said Martin began touching her private areas with his hands in 2005 when she was 7-years-old. The victim said the abuse continued for six years until she was 13-years-old. The girl’s legal guardian said she was friends with Martin and met him at an Atlanta church where he was a minster. She further stated that the defendant would visit her home on a regular basis and Martin would often stay overnight. The guardian said the victim would sleep upstairs while Martin would sleep downstairs, and she was unaware of any sexual abuse.
Atlanta Police closed the case in 2011 when the victim failed to attend a forensic interview and the defendant provided an alibi. However, the Atlanta Police Investigator reopened the case in 2014, because the victim’s legal guardian contacted APD to report that the victim was repeating her prior allegations against Martin. The victim was then forensically interviewed and said Martin touched her vagina and her breasts with his hands on several occasions during the six-year period. Additionally, the victim disclosed that Martin raped her in her bedroom on one occasion. The victim said her little brother and her legal guardian were in the home when some of the sexual assaults occurred. Martin would molest the victim when she was watching television in her bedroom. The girl told Martin to stop but he would say to the victim,
“You better not be giving my stuff away.”
During a separate interview in 2015, the victim said Martin molested her more than 30 times between 2005 and 2011. The victim remembered being sexually assaulted by Martin on her 12th birthday. The girl said Martin penetrated her with his fingers which caused her to bleed and experience physical pain. The victim said Martin also placed the tip of his penis in her vagina on one occasion, but she screamed and he stopped. Martin was eventually arrested.
In 2014, shortly after Martin’s arrest, a Fulton County Magistrate Court Judge released Martin on a $15,000 bond with the requirement that he wear an ankle monitor. Martin was indicted in 2015, but in 2017, a Fulton County Superior Court Judge altered the conditions of Martin’s bond and allowed the defendant to remove the ankle monitor. After five days of testimony during Martin’s trial, the defendant absconded and failed to appear in court for closing arguments and the verdict. Currently, his whereabouts are unknown.
MARTIN was convicted of RAPE, AGGRAVATED SEXUAL BATTERY, CHILD MOLESTATION, and CRUELTY TO CHILDREN (1ST DEGREE.) The Court postponed sentencing for the defendant because the victim would like to face Martin during the sentencing hearing.
Judge Thomas Campbell, of the Superior Court of Fulton County, presided over the case. Senior Assistant District Attorney Earnelle Winfrey led the prosecution of the case. She was assisted by Deputy District Attorney Deah Warren, Investigator Catherine Dillard, and Victim-Witness-Advocates Shayla Teamer and Britney Winley of the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office. Investigator B. Yepez of the Atlanta Police Department was the Lead Investigator in the case.