An Atlanta minister who fled a court room while on trial for repeatedly raping and molesting a child has been arrested in the Bahamas.
Don Martin, 45, fled from the Fulton County courthouse on December 4 five days into his trial for a string of child abuse offenses, reports the Atlanta-Journal-Constitution.
In his absence, Martin was convicted of rape, aggravated assault, child molestation and first-degree child cruelty after he was found to have repeatedly assaulted a girl from the age of 7 to 13. He now faces life in prison plus 20 years.
The fugitive was arrested at Lynden Pindling International Airport in the Bahamas while attempting to flee the country. Police said Martin is originally from Martin Town, Grand Bahama, and is expected to be extradited back to the U.S. to serve his sentence, reports Tribune 242.
Martin was convicted of repeatedly molesting a girl between 2005 and 2011 at locations in College Park and Atlanta. Police launched an investigation after officers responded to a sexual battery call at a house in Atlanta in 2011.
Officers then spoke to a young girl who said that Martin had sexually assaulted repeatedly from 2005 to 2011. In a separate interview, the victim said Martin molested her more than 30 times, including once on her 12th birthday, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office said.
The girl’s legal guardian said she had been friends with Martin since meeting him Atlanta church where he was a minister. The guardian said Martin would regulary stay over at the home, but he would sleep downstairs and was unaware of any sexual abuse.
Police originally the closed the investigation in 2011 when the victim failed to attend a forensic interview and Martin provided an alibi. However, the case was reopened three years later when the girl’s legal guardian said she is repeating her original allegations against the minister, as well as an disclosing he had raped the girl.
The girl said Martin would molest her while she was watching television in her bedroom. On one occasion when she told him to stop, Martin said: “You better not be giving my stuff away,” according on Fulton County District Attorney’s Office.
Martin was arrested in 2014 on a $15,000 bond with the requirement that he wear an ankle monitor. In 2017, a Fulton County Superior Court Judge altered the conditions of Martin’s bond, allowing him to remove the ankle monitor.