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Former Columbia County commissioner's child molestation trial begins

Monday, Dec. 12, 2011 8:54 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011 1:59 AM
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In opening statements Monday in the trial of a former Columbia County commissioner, the assistant district attorney said Scott Dean appeared to be an upstanding citizen but harbored “a dark secret: a lustful disposition for minor girls.”

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Former Harlem Mayor and Columbia County Commissioner Scott Dean looks to his attorney Pete Theodocion before the start of his trial on child molestation charges involving his adopted daughter.  JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
Former Harlem Mayor and Columbia County Commissioner Scott Dean looks to his attorney Pete Theodocion before the start of his trial on child molestation charges involving his adopted daughter.


Dean, 42, is accused of exposing himself to and inappropriately touching his daughter, one of five children he and his wife adopted from Guatemala in 2008.

Pete Theodocion, Dean’s attorney, said the girl grew up in an abusive home but never told her older sister, Marlin, that Dean molested her.

“They had no secrets with each other,” Theodocion said. “(The girl) never told Marlin Dean, never once, that anything inappropriate happened with Scott Dean.”

While in Mexico, Marlin said she lied about her adopted father, insinuating he’d touched her younger sister and made advances toward her to get money from her family. Marlin told sheriff’s office investigators she ran away from the Dean’s Harlem home in October 2010 to be with her boyfriend. She later recanted her allegations against Dean, according to her testimony at a similar transaction hearing Monday before the trial began.

“She was on the road in Mexico,” Theodocion said at the hearing. “(She lied so) that people would send her money and feel sorry for her.”

Marlin confirmed Theodocion’s statement with her testimony during the pretrial hearing.

Superior Court Judge James G. Blanchard Jr. ruled at the hearing that Assistant District Attorney Parks White could present evidence that Dean committed similar sex acts against underage girls other than his daughters.

A pair of West Virginia twin sisters testified that Dean, then 14, molested them at a pool party and sleep-over at their home when they were 12. Those cases were never prosecuted.

White also alleged that between January and October 2010, Dean tried to commit incest with two of his daughters, one of whom is the victim in the child molestation case. No charges have been filed in connection with those accusations.

Investigators from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and Oglethorpe County Department of Family and Children Services conducted parallel investigations into the accusations against Dean. The DFCS child abuse investigator testified that the victim claims Dean touched her and exposed himself.

Dean was elected to the county commission in 2008 and re-elected in November 2010 despite being accused several months earlier of sending inappropriate text messages to a married county employee.

Following a February indictment on two counts of child molestation, Dean resigned his commission seat. He entered a plea of not guilty to those charges.

Dean has not lived in the family’s home since DFCS temporarily removed the adopted children in October 2010.

A Columbia County grand jury reindicted Dean on Sept. 28 on the same charges, but adjusted dates and the nature of one of the charges, according to court documents.

The initial indictment states the activity occurred between Sept. 1, 2008, and Sept. 11, 2010. The new indictment extends that period to Oct. 11, 2010. Dean entered another not guilty plea on Oct. 21.

The trial is expected to continue Tuesday at the Columbia County courthouse in Evans.

Comments (14) Add comment
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scoopdedoop64
2520
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scoopdedoop64 12/12/11 - 09:14 pm
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Of course I am only

Of course I am only responding to what the Chronicle has in this article but to me it sounds like the prosecution has a very slim chance of conviction based on just this evidence. Maybe there is more that we are not seeing. Hope justice is done and the truth comes out.

Dixieman
17604
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Dixieman 12/12/11 - 09:40 pm
0
0
Pete Theodocion will clean

Pete Theodocion will clean the prosecution's clock!! He is the best criminal defense lawyer in the CSRA.

Riverman1
94308
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Riverman1 12/13/11 - 04:48 am
0
0
I have full confidence in the

I have full confidence in the DA's office, DFCS and the Columbia County Sheriff's Office who gave the case to the DA no matter if they are going up against a high powered trial lawyer in Theodocion.

Dixie, he may be good, but he has also lost some BIG cases we all know about: Linda Schrenko, Said Mutazz the murderer and Walt Williams the guy who stole over $1.5 million from family and friends. All these cases resulted in the defendants going away for a long time.

Scoop, from what's written in this story, the evidence seems pretty good to me.

Just My Opinion
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Just My Opinion 12/13/11 - 04:58 am
0
0
So, let me get this straight,

So, let me get this straight, the article says that Dean was accused by this daughter, who ran away from home and later admitted to making up the story because she wanted money and sympathy. (So, shouldn't that point be dumped?) In a 10 month period, Dean is said to have "tried to commit incest", yet there have been no charges for that. (Hmmm, why wasn't there any charges here?) And then it mentions he "molested" twin 12 year old girls when Dean was 14 years old...but nothing even came to trial on that charge...keep in mind that this happened about 30 years ago and the specifics are totally unknown. So, am I right in all that? River, tell me how you think the evidence seems pretty good to you? Honestly, I'm seeing and smelling smoke like alot of other people, but I haven't seen anything that really resembles a fire here...not yet, anyway. Even though it goes against our nature, we have to give him the benefit of the doubt until all the evidence is made available.

Riverman1
94308
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Riverman1 12/13/11 - 05:06 am
0
0
JustMyOp, the daughter this

JustMyOp, the daughter this is about is not the one who ran away. If there is any benefit of the doubt to be passed out here as you say, I don't know about you, but I'm giving it to the children considering Dean's track record.

my.voice
5180
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my.voice 12/13/11 - 06:28 am
0
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Wonder what theodocians

Wonder what theodocians retainer was?

Little Lamb
49255
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Little Lamb 12/13/11 - 08:05 am
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Well, this episode at least

Well, this episode at least puts to rest the notion that Mexico has tougher illegal immigration laws than the U.S. Here we have Marlin Dean illegally crossing the border into Mexico and she's treated like a celebrity there.

Dixieman
17604
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Dixieman 12/13/11 - 10:09 am
0
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Riverman1 - The best lawyer

Riverman1 - The best lawyer in the world is restricted by what the facts of the case are. They can make a difference, sometimes a big difference, but often the case is won or lost on the facts, NOT by what the lawyer did.

Little Lamb
49255
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Little Lamb 12/13/11 - 01:03 pm
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Scoop posted: Of course I am

Scoop posted:

Of course I am only responding to what the Chronicle has in this article but to me it sounds like the prosecution has a very slim chance of conviction based on just this evidence.

Riverman responded:

Scoop, from what's written in this story, the evidence seems pretty good to me.

What you have read in the story above is not evidence. It is a reporter's summary of both attorney's opening statements. They can say pretty much anything they want in an opening statement. Let's examine the next few days worth of testimony before we pontificate on the strength or weakness of the stories.

Jake
34136
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Jake 12/13/11 - 01:26 pm
0
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No LL, let's rush to

No LL, let's rush to judgement! It is more fun and exciting and, if you are right, you will come off as some sort of know-it-all and wise poster!

bjphysics
36
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bjphysics 12/13/11 - 01:31 pm
0
0
And if you’re wrong, either

And if you’re wrong, either nobody will remember or you can come back on here and claim the trial was a travesty.

Riverman1
94308
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Riverman1 12/13/11 - 02:55 pm
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0
LL, neither one of us is a

LL, neither one of us is a lawyer. There is one who posted above that I don't dispute him at all when he said the facts will determine the outcome of the trial. However, when I use the word evidence, it is certainly not in a strictly legal way. I mean, goodness, we would get into hearsay and a million other technicalities trying to say a newspaper article comments are evidence in a courtroom. I may be stupid at times, but not that stupid. I don't think you are either.

devgru1
0
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devgru1 12/13/11 - 03:53 pm
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Good thing the defense didn't

Good thing the defense didn't request a bench trial in this case...

reba530
65
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reba530 12/13/11 - 06:24 pm
0
0
Come on Scott. Why in the
Unpublished

Come on Scott. Why in the world would your daughter lie about you doing you know what to her. She has no reason to lie. I think that you are a sick man that needs help

InChristLove
22485
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InChristLove 12/13/11 - 08:30 pm
0
0
reba530, did you even read

reba530, did you even read the article. The oldest daughter admitted to lying, is could be possible the other is lying also. She was unhappy with her adopted mother and admitted she wanted to go with her older sister. I can think of several reasons children lie........Is this the case, hopefully we will find out the truth soon.

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