The 9-year-old victim of alleged rapist Adrian Spellen, 29, testified that the defendant raped her multiple times during a summer camp held at his karate studio in Lithonia.
Spellen, a 2012 Olympic hopeful, was charged in July with two counts of rape and one count of child molestation for allegedly attacking the victim sometime between May and June 2011.
Prosecutors said the victim, now 10 years old, was first introduced to Spellen when he visited her elementary school for career day and gave a martial arts demonstration for his studio Powerkick Martial Arts.
“The case that you are here to listen to as jurors is about the betrayal of the trust of a 9-year-old little girl in the most unimaginable way,” Assistant District Attorney Dalia Racine told jurors in her opening statement.
The victim testified that Spellen raped her twice, once before lunch and once after lunch, one day while attending summer camp. Racine told jurors that Spellen took advantage of the trust of his victim.
“He will be exposed for what he truly is, for what he’s truly done to this child,” Racine said. “Why would [she] make this up? The only answer you’ll be able to come up with is that she is telling the truth.”
The victim’s mother told jurors that after the alleged incident her daughter repeatedly woke up in the middle of the night crying because of nightmares she had.
“One dream I remember in particular her talking to me about…she dreamed that Mr. Spellen was going to take all her tae kwon do belts away because she told,” the victim’s mother testified.
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.
“We’re going to show you that there’s no medical evidence and there’s no scientific evidence,” Maples said. “He 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. The trial is ongoing.