DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - Channel 2's Tom Jones was in court when a jury found a martial arts instructor not guilty on one count of child molestation. The panel announced it couldn't reach a decision on the other two molestation counts.
The judge declared a mistrial because the jury was hopelessly deadlocked on the two counts.
The mistrial and the not guilty verdict caused defendant Adrian Spellen and his family to erupt with emotion inside and outside of court.
Spellen's family held him in a tight embrace and praised the lord in court minutes after hearing a jury could not reach a decision on two counts of molesting an 11-year-old student at his martial arts studio.
Outside court, Spellen was defiant, again insisting he never molested anyone.
"I am not a child molester. I'm not a child rapist. I am not a child abuser. I am a child of God," Spellen said.
Police said Spellen attacked the girl in his office at his Powerkicks studio two years ago.
The jury deliberated five days, along the way announcing it was having trouble reaching a decision. That's when the judge called them into court and asked for their verdicts so far.
"As to count one, no decision. As to count two, the defendant is not guilty. As to count three, the jury has no decision," said Judge Clarence Seeliger.
Spellen's attorney said the jury didn't have much to work with.
"The case was extremely weak. It was a classic, 'He say she say,'" said defense attorney John Turner.
"My name has been tarnished. I have lost a lot," Spellen said.
Spellen said he is praying the district attorney doesn't pursue another trial.
"I pray for that child who started something that she could not finish," Spellen said.
The child's family was disappointed, telling Jones the jury heard the truth.
The DA's Office said it will review the facts and determine whether to re-try the case.
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