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Victims testify at molestation trial

Jury expected to begin deliberations today

By Melanie Ruberti

mruberti@civitasmedia.com

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Reporter’s note: The names of the victims and family members testifying on their behalf are withheld to protect their identity.

LaGRANGE — The two young girls who allege Celestino “Hector” Acuño-Martinez raped and molested them several times took the stand Wednesday morning in Troup County Superior Court.

The 9 year old and 11 year old testified before the jury, Superior Court Judge Travis Sakrison and the accused, Martinez.

Two other children who allegedly witnessed some of the sexual abuse also took the stand and answered questions from the state and the defense.

Sakrison asked the media and people not directly involved with the case to leave the courtroom while the children testified.

Troup County Senior Assistant District Attorney Lynda Caldwell also brought in a representative from Cellebrite — a company that provides equipment capable of extracting data, and transferring and analyzing information from devices like cellphones — to testify.

LaGrange police used the Cellebrite services to obtain text messages sent and received, track phone calls and download Internet sites visited from the cellphone, which allegedly belonged to Martinez. Investigators also used extracted text and calls from a cellphone reportedly used by the 11-year-old victim.

If text messages are deleted from a phone, they will sometimes, but not always, appear on a report utilizing a Cellebrite device, the expert told the jury.

Martinez’ defense attorney, Julianne Lynn, asked if the equipment could also prove the data taken from a cellphone or sent to another cellphone actually belonged to the person’s name attached to it. The expert said no.

LaGrange police polygraph examiner Greg Corbett told the jury he administered a lie detector test to Martinez, and asked a specific question about the alleged abuse toward the 9 year old.

Caldwell asked Corbett about the result of the polygraph.

“I came to the conclusion that he was being deceptive to those questions,” Corbett replied.

The state rested its case Wednesday. So did the defense, which did not call any witnesses to the stand.

Closing arguments were expected to begin this morning. The jury was expected to begin deliberations before noon.

Martinez is 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.

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