Dean girls removed from home

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A Superior Court judge ordered three female children of Scott and Renee Dean removed from their home Monday, calling it a precaution to ensure that their testimony in the criminal case against their father is untainted.

A counselor involved in work related to the Scott Dean case requested his involvement in intensive family counseling.
A counselor involved in work related to the Scott Dean case requested his involvement in intensive family counseling.

During a hearing at the Evans courthouse, Judge James G. Blanchard Jr. made his ruling after concerns were raised about a request for family counseling that would have included Dean.

A grand jury indicted Dean, a former county commissioner, on two counts of child molestation Feb. 2. He pleaded not guilty to those charges Feb. 18.

As part of Dean's bond, Blanchard had ordered that Dean not be involved in counseling with his family because one of the children is the alleged victim and the others are potential witnesses.

A counselor who has met with the victim several times and the other children at least once recently requested that Dean be involved in an "intensive, family counseling" session with two specialists from Atlanta.

The counseling request was denied by the children's guardian ad litem and by the Department of Family and Children Services. The guardian ad litem, appointed by Blanchard last month, said a DFCS case worker initially appeared willing to approve the family counseling session.

"I did not agree with that in the middle of a court proceeding (involving) criminal charges and did not feel that was appropriate at this time," the guardian told the judge.

Renee Dean expressed her willingness to participate in the counseling, if the court would allow it.

Blanchard said he was concerned about the children's being influenced, possibly coerced, in their testimony. He said he has seen numerous cases in which children later change their testimony and were obviously influenced or coached.

"One of the purposes the court has is to make sure the criminal procedure operates ... without any contamination," Blanchard said. "I'm not saying that is taking place in this case."

The judge referred placement of the children to the Columbia County Juvenile Court.

The judge also ordered that the children continue treatment without the counselor who suggested involving Dean. Continued treatment will be arranged by the Juvenile Court.

The alleged victim is one of five children -- four girls and a boy -- the Deans adopted from Guatemala in 2008. They have two biological sons.

Dean has not lived in the family's Harlem home since the DFCS temporarily removed the adopted children in October.

The eldest daughter, Marlin, ran away last October to Mexico.

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reader54 03/01/11 - 11:58 am
Fatboyhog: I agree. These are

Fatboyhog: I agree. These are very serious charges which will be heard and tried in a court of law. In fairness to the system, it would be better served w/o rumor, gossip and half-truths opined by this sanctimonious crowd. Give the defendant his Constitutional Right of innocent until Proven guilty. Anyone with a little imagination could present a salacious, titillating account of sexual fantasy to satisfy an obviously obsessed bunch, but let's treat the defendant as we would want to be treated. BTW, I don't know the man.

Riverman1 03/01/11 - 12:07 pm
Reader54, this is not

Reader54, this is not particularly related to this case, but the discussion comes up from time to time. The public doesn't give or take away a constitutional right of innocent until proven guilty. That's up to court officers. The public has always exercised its right to free speech and discussed guilt and innocence of accused individuals.

George 03/01/11 - 01:18 pm
As with any case that

As with any case that involves a public official, people are going to comment on it. NO ONE, I repeat, NO ONE is calling for Dean to be lynched, and NO ONE thinks his 6th amendment rights should be taken away. People who say that there are those who want to lynch him or take away his 6th amendment rights are doing nothing more than crying wolf. You can't demand that people not talk about it, or they start to wonder why you are stepping on their 1st amendment rights. And when you do that, it just inflames people to talk even more. There's nothing wrong with discussion and critique of a public official so long as violence is not being incited. So far, I've seen none of that. For those of you who don't want to talk about it, that's your right, too. But don't accuse those of us that do want to discuss it as being a lynch mob.

mable8 03/01/11 - 01:27 pm
Austin, your bias is

Austin, your bias is have already tried and convicted Dean.

happychimer 03/01/11 - 02:19 pm
My opinion is Dean is guilty,

My opinion is Dean is guilty, but that is my opinion. It does not mean he is guilty. Time will tell.

Austin Rhodes
Austin Rhodes 03/01/11 - 04:36 pm
MABLE...please feel free to

MABLE...please feel free to show me where I have "tried and convicted" Dean on the criminal charges he now faces. I have certainly commented on his behavior INDEPENDENT of these charges.

My criticism of Dean came from actions/decisions independent of the criminal accusations facing him now.

corgimom 03/01/11 - 08:18 pm
"I do question a system where

"I do question a system where a child is living with, and under the supervision of, a mother who believes the child is lying in such a serious matter. It doesn't make a damn bit of sense.

Nothing against the Deans specifically...this is a "system wide" phenomenon that needs explanation."

Austin, wake up to reality. This is why very few incest victims ever get peace or justice.

A whole lot of mothers refuse to believe it- because they don't want to face the truth. And they also don't want to admit to their part in it- because at some level, the mother always knows. There is no way that molestation can occur in a family and no one in the family knows about it. No child, or teenager, can hide rape and abuse- unless the mother wants it hidden, for whatever reasons.

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