The trial of a Lithonia martial arts instructor accused of raping one of his students began Oct. 18.
Adrian Spellen, 29, was indicted on two counts of rape and one count of child molestation for allegedly raping a 9-year-old girl. Spellen, the owner and head instructor of Powerkick Martial Arts was also a 2012 Olympic hopeful.
During opening statements, Assistant District Attorney Dalia Racine told jurors that Spellen took advantage of the trust of his alleged victim. Racine said the first time the victim saw Spellen was when he gave a demonstration at her elementary school for career day.
Spellen was charged in July for allegedly attacking the girl sometime between May and June of 2011 while the elementary school pupil attended a summer camp at Powerkick Martial Arts.
Racine said the indictment against Spellen has two charges of rape because he attacked her twice in one day.
Defense attorney Steven Maples told jurors during his opening statement that due to the location of the alleged rape and the number of people present when the alleged incident took place, it was nearly impossible for it to have occurred.
Maples also stated that there was no scientific evidence of the rape and Spellen should have never been charged. Racine stated that since the incident occurred several weeks before the rape test was done, the victim had healed.
According to Spellen’s company website, he has been competing and training in tae kwon do for nearly 20 years. He is a certified instructor, has a black belt, and has coached 38 state and regional champions and five national champions. Spellen is a five-time national champion and won a silver medal at the 2010 South American Games in Medellin, Colombia.
In 2011, Spellen was released on $100,000 bond and ordered not to have any contact with minors except for family members but Judge Clarence Seeliger revoked his bond in March when prosecutors accused him of violating those conditions.
Spellen faces life in prison if found guilty of the charges.