web1_Martinez

Child molestation defendant back in court

By Melanie Ruberti

mruberti@civitasmedia.com

Celestino Hector Acuno-Martinez, 41, stands in a Troup County Superior Courtroom in April as the jury foreman tells the court the group is hopelessly deadlocked on 12 counts of charges against Martinez. The judge declared a mistrial and Martinez is now being retried.
http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_Martinez.jpgCelestino Hector Acuno-Martinez, 41, stands in a Troup County Superior Courtroom in April as the jury foreman tells the court the group is hopelessly deadlocked on 12 counts of charges against Martinez. The judge declared a mistrial and Martinez is now being retried. File

LaGRANGE — A man accused of molesting and raping two young girls will again face a judge and jury inside a Troup County Superior courtroom this afternoon.

The first trial against Celestino Hector Acuño-Martinez, 41, of LaGrange ended in a mistrial in April.

The jury foreman told presiding Superior Court Judge Travis Sakrison they were hopelessly deadlocked on all 12 counts against Martinez three hours after receiving the case.

Sakrison asked them to continue deliberating and sent them home. But the night reprieve did not seem to help.

The next morning, an hour after court started, the foreman sent out another note stating the group was still at an impasse on an unanimous verdict on all 12 counts of charges against Martinez.

Sakrison declared a mistrial.

Martinez was charged with four counts of child molestation, two counts of rape, two counts of false imprisonment, two counts of aggravated child molestation, aggravated sodomy and enticing a child for indecent purposes.

According to the grand jury indictment against Martinez, the alleged incidents took place in a home in LaGrange between August 2013 and March 2015 with two girls, ages 9 and 11.

The girls testified about the sexual abuse through a videotaped interview and before the jury, as did two other children who claimed they witnessed some of the alleged incidents.

Opening arguments in the trial are slated to begin at 1 p.m.

Melanie Ruberti is a reporter with LaGrange Daily News. She may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2156.