Minister on the run after rape, child molestation conviction, police say

A Georgia minister convicted of rape and child molestation is on the run, authorities say.

Don Martin failed to show up in court after five days of testimony, Atlanta's WSB-TV reported Tuesday.

Martin was convicted of rape, aggravated sexual battery, child molestation and cruelty to children in the first degree for repeatedly assaulting a young girl for years.

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The victim told investigators that Martin began touching her inappropriately in 2005, when she was just 7 years old. The alleged abuse continued until 2011, when the then-13-year-old told police.

The girl's legal guardian was friends with Martin, who was a minister at an Atlanta church at the time. The guardian said Martin would stay at the home often, but she was never aware of any abuse.

The case was closed in 2011 when the victim didn't show up for a forensic interview, but it was reopened in 2014 when the victim repeated her allegations.

Martin was arrested and required to wear an ankle monitor, but in 2017, a judge altered the conditions of Martin's bond and allowed him to remove the ankle monitor.

After sitting through five days of testimony, Martin didn't show up for closing arguments and the verdict.

Police say his whereabouts are unknown.

The court has postponed the sentencing because the victim wants to face Martin during the sentencing hearing.

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