Mistrial declared for taekwondo teacher accused of rape

Updated:

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - A DeKalb County martial arts instructor accused of rape is off the hook for now.

Adrian Spellen, 28, faced two counts of rape and one count of child molestation, which carried a maximum life sentence in prison. A mistrial was declared Monday after the jury failed to reach a unanimous decision on the verdict.

DeKalb County prosecutors said Spellen sexually assaulted a 9-year-old girl who was a student at his Powerkicks Martial Arts Studio near Lithonia last year. The defense argued there was no evidence of the allegations, and Spellen denied the claims on the stand.

“It’s never happened,” he said.

But prosecutors pointed out that Spellen bought liability insurance and added coverage that insures him against sexual abuse and child molestation charges after he heard about the allegations. Meanwhile, he didn’t even have insurance on the vans used to transport students, prosecutors said.

The alleged victim and her mother both took the stand in the trial. The girl’s mother testified how her bright and ambitious daughter went from confident to an emotional wreck.

"I was having a child who was up at night crying. She was having bad dreams. One dream, I remember in particular her talking to me about she dreamed that Mr. Spellen was going to take all her taekwondo belts away because she told," the woman said.

The DeKalb County District Attorney's Office said it will pursue the case further.

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