DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - A taekwondo instructor is back on trial. On the first day of testimony, a 9-year-old girl told jurors the instructor molested her twice inside his studio.
Channel 2's Tom Jones was in DeKalb County court Monday, where the defense
claimed the child has an active imagination.
The child is very intelligent and has written 21 fantasy books, leading the defense to claim she made up the molestation allegations.
But the child took the stand and spoke in a confident voice about how, she said, Adrian Spellen betrayed her trust.
"I was kind of sitting in his
lap, but at the same time I was standing up," the girl said, describing one of the alleged incidents.
girl, who said her taekwondo instructor molested her inside his Powerkicks Studio in May 2011, described Spellen luring her into his office and doing the unspeakable. The child said Spellen later attacked her again.
"When you say he pulled you and did the same
thing, what room were you in when that happened?" Assistant District Attorney Dalia Racine asked the girl.
"The office," the girl said.
Spellen now faces three counts of child molestation. A jury couldn't decide on his guilt during a trial last year. Now, the state is trying once again to convict him.
Racine asked the jury during opening statements why the 9-year-old would make this up, as the defense suggested.
"The only answer that the evidence in this case will point to is that he is guilty," Racine said.
The defense said Spellen is innocent.
Defense attorney John
Turner says the 9-year-old gave conflicting statements and has a vivid imagination, and medical exams didn't reveal results consistent with a sexual attack.
"There was nothing out of the ordinary with this child physically on two separate physical
examinations," said Turner.
Spellen could face a life sentence, if convicted.
The child didn't report the allegations for a week or so. Prosecutors said it came up as her mother told her how babies are made.