Jury finds Scott Dean guilty on two counts of child molestation

Jury finds Scott Dean guilty on two counts of child molestation

Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011 2:42 PM
Last updated Friday, Dec. 16, 2011 8:04 AM
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A Columbia County jury on Thursday found former Columbia County commissioner Scott Dean guilty of molesting his adopted teen daughter.

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Scott Dean talks to his wife, Renee, and daughter Marlin while waiting for a verdict in his child molestation trial. Dean was found guilty on two counts.  Jim Blaylock/Staff
Jim Blaylock/Staff
Scott Dean talks to his wife, Renee, and daughter Marlin while waiting for a verdict in his child molestation trial. Dean was found guilty on two counts.

The jury started deliberations late Wednesday afternoon and spent about seven hours discussing the case before rendering the verdict against Dean, also a former mayor of Harlem.

After the court clerk read the verdict, Dean hung his head but remained calm as deputies led him away to Columbia County Detention Center. The courtroom was silent except for the soft sobs of Dean’s wife, Renee, and eldest daughter, Marlin, hugging each other in the front row. Dean’s mother, Rikki Dean put her hand over her mouth.

Dean, 42, was charged with two counts of child molestation. He was accused of exposing himself to and inappropriately touching another daughter, one of five the Deans adopted from Guatemala in 2008.

Child molestation carries a 5-to-20-year sentence, Assistant District Attorney Parks White said. Judge James G. Blanchard Jr. did not immediately sentence Dean. By request of Dean’s attorney, he will be sentenced at a later date, which was not set Thursday.

The verdict stunned some who knew Dean well.

“I’m honestly shocked,” said Harlem City Councilman John Thigpen, who served with Dean when he was mayor. “I’ve known Scott a while and I’m finding the whole thing hard to believe.”

Thigpen said he tried to offer Dean encouragement when the two spoke Wednesday evening.

“I talked to him (Wednesday) night and he was calm,” Thigpen said Thursday, “but I could tell he was in a nervous state and naturally worried. I told him to keep his head up.”

The four-day trial featured Dean disputing charges from his daughter, now 17, that he crawled into her bed at night and touched her. She also said that Dean exposed himself to her by opening a towel he was wearing and said he wanted to have sex.

Defense attorney Pete Theodocion said during the trial that the girl made up the allegations because she was angry that Marlin left her behind when her sister ran away to Mexico in October 2010 and that there was tension with Dean’s wife.

Several people testified that the victim and another sister met with Dean’s wife and a family friend and said they lied about the allegations. But during her testimony, the victim stood by her story.

Marlin insinuated to Columbia County sheriff’s investigators that Dean tried to have sex with her but later recanted, saying she lied to make people feel sorry for her and send her money.

That there seemed to be some story changes by the girls made some residents question the verdict.

“I didn’t feel like it was compelling evidence,” said longtime Harlem resident Jack Hatcher. “The girls changed their stories. They first said they lied about it.”

Dean, a Harlem High School graduate, served on the Harlem City Council and more than five years as the city’s mayor before being elected to the county commission in July 2008 to fill the seat vacated by Lee Anderson.

Dean was re-elected as the District 4 commissioner in November 2010 despite being accused several months earlier of sending inappropriate text messages to a married county employee.

He resigned from the position in February, when he was indicted on the child molestation charges.

Bill Morris replaced Dean as the District 4 Columbia County commissioner in a special election. He didn’t offer an opinion on the outcome of the trial.

“I’m just glad that it’s over,” Morris said. “It’s been a fast ordeal. I just want us to move forward.”

Comments (93) Add comment
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David Parker
7923
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David Parker 12/15/11 - 03:54 pm
0
0
first

first

my.voice
4819
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my.voice 12/15/11 - 04:46 pm
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I dont wish jury duty on

I dont wish jury duty on anyone. The deliberation process brings out the worst in some.

BamaMan
2356
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BamaMan 12/15/11 - 05:38 pm
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I'm sure most would like to

I'm sure most would like to get out of jury duty. But look at it this way...if your mother, daughter, etc were a victim of a crime, wouldn't you want jurors to show up to find them guilty and make the criminal pay for their crime?

raul
4861
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raul 12/15/11 - 05:54 pm
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Well, gotta admit that one

Well, gotta admit that one surprised me! (guilty verdict on all counts)

augusta citizen
9324
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augusta citizen 12/15/11 - 06:11 pm
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Well raul, I find the article

Well raul, I find the article confusing, is that what they reached, guilty on all counts?

Riverman1
83808
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Riverman1 12/15/11 - 06:14 pm
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0
Augusta Citizen, guilty on

Augusta Citizen, guilty on all counts.

When I heard the jury was leaning 11-1, I knew it was going to be guilty. There is no way one juror would hold out for conviction. Now for the sentencing. I'd hate to have Dean's reputation and be waiting for sentencing for this crime. God bless those children. They didn't deserve any of this.

augusta citizen
9324
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augusta citizen 12/15/11 - 06:18 pm
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0
Never mind raul, I just

Never mind raul, I just turned on the local radio host and heard him say guilty on both charges. Riverman, yes, God bless those children, no they didn't deserve this. My hope was that the right verdict would be reached and I hope it was.

Riverman, you are correct in your assessment, I had thought earlier he would be found not guilty, but that was also on the limited information the public had. When I heard about the 11-1 hung jury, I thought it sounded like they were leaning toward guilty.

Riverman1
83808
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Riverman1 12/15/11 - 06:23 pm
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0
If anyone thinks I'm happy

If anyone thinks I'm happy about any of this, they're wrong. It's sickening. Now onto other things for me.

InChristLove
22473
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InChristLove 12/15/11 - 06:28 pm
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0
Riverman1, it's not nice to

Riverman1, it's not nice to lie. You've been riding a high on this for several days. He has been found guilty like you so hoped for. I am surprise on the verdict considering the limited information the media has given but justice has spoken and I pray that the girls can move on with their life and the rest of the family can get back to their lives.

Lee Benedict
1585
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Lee Benedict 12/15/11 - 06:35 pm
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mll, I read your post on

mll, I read your post on another thread in which you asked a question of me, and I am responding via this thread because chances are, this is the thread to which most readers will gravitate.

I DO NOT have a vendetta nor am I vindictive towards Scott Dean. I will say that I do not care for him or an overwhelming majority of the company he keeps and kept. That aside, and perhaps you never read my other posts regarding this case, I have always said that we should wait and see, i.e., can the prosecution prove that he is guilty of the charges based upon the admissible evidence and the judge's instructions to the jury?

Now, as for your Mike Sleeper cut and run (or something akin to that) after Dean fired him comment, I heard a different story as reported 12+ months ago. We were told that Sleeper would remain Campaign Manager until after the primary. Remember, Dean's little cavalcade of sexting became public BEFORE the primary, and, IMHO, as school board trustee, Mike should have cut bait and resigned immediately. He didn't. Therefore, how you can say that Mike Sleeper cut and run after being fired (which he was not, according to media reports)? Mike is on the school board. Common sense mandates that he leave Dodge, and again, "he should have" resigned as soon as he became aware of the sexting, or at very least, when it became public. And look at who took over for Mike. My goodness! Talk about a loose cannon.

Back to your question of me: I do not like Scott Dean and that is probably public knowledge. After Dean's primary victory, he and his crew were gloating and laughing it up at the Columbia County GOP breakfast just a few days later. A few months after, Dean's people were making threats against some of his opponent's supporters and the supporters of Preston Smith's opponents. And let us keep in mind and reminding the masses about this one little tidbit...when Dean's unethical, immoral, and other forms of behavior were made public, some in the local media were out and out encouraging people to vote for him so that he can win and then resign and then hold a special election so that a "viable candidate" can be elected. We all remember this. Funny thing, though, Dean never said publicly that he will resign if reelected. The media just ran with it so that David Payne would not be elected. As an aside, how much did the special election and its run-off cost the people?

Dean's opponent was David Payne, BTW. And since the media reported current and pertinent information about Dean, well, it just had to dredge up stuff about Payne from 20, 30, 40 years ago, some of which may have been relevant 10, 20, 30 years ago. Didn't some of those same people take up for Ron Cross when facts were put forth about his business skills of years past? Which is it? Pertinent regarding Payne but not Cross? Pertinent if it is regarding who the GOBN (Good Old Boys Network) opposes?

My point is, put all of this mess in its proper context. Oh, and by the way, let us remember the victims of this ordeal and pray for their well-being.

Cynical old woman
1102
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Cynical old woman 12/15/11 - 06:38 pm
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0
What's the opinion of Ben

What's the opinion of Ben Harbin now? First, a DUI and now character witness for a now convicted child molester. Political suicide if you ask me!

realitycheck09
307
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realitycheck09 12/15/11 - 06:43 pm
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0
Is anyone else surprised by

Is anyone else surprised by how tempered these comments are?

It seems to me if this were an article about "Tyrone Jackson from Cherry Tree Crossing" the comments would be saying "string him up! Put him under the jail!"

I just wonder what it is that is different about this case that has made the usual torch mob commenters keep quiet. Hmm...if I could only figure it out...

my.voice
4819
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my.voice 12/15/11 - 06:51 pm
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0
Any idea what kind of

Any idea what kind of sentence he faces? I don't see how he could possibly survive inside.

devgru1
0
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devgru1 12/15/11 - 06:52 pm
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0
I have heard that Judge

I have heard that Judge Blanchard gave the prosecution a few unusual breaks in this case. I'm not surprised. He is a biased Judge.

jbartley
545
Points
jbartley 12/15/11 - 06:55 pm
0
0
I was in the court room

I was in the court room Tuesday & Wednesday, justice was done. If you were not there and you did not see the testimony you don't know what you are talking about. There were so few people in court I am sure you were not there!

my.voice
4819
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my.voice 12/15/11 - 06:56 pm
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0
jbartley, was it open to the

jbartley, was it open to the public?

augusta citizen
9324
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augusta citizen 12/16/11 - 12:47 am
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realitycheck09, your post

realitycheck09, your post sounds like double-standard's did this AM on the pharmacy robbery. He/she was mad that no one had yet called the perps THUGS or gangstas. There were only a small number of posters at that point, and who even says gangstas?? I never have, I would say gangsters possibly.

So this guilty verdict has just been posted, a small number of commenters have posted and you are already stirring up something and complaining about the comments and begrudging them as somehow being different from some Cherry Tree Crossing crime? Really?

devgru1
0
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devgru1 12/15/11 - 06:58 pm
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0
Judge Blanchard IS a biased

Judge Blanchard IS a biased Judge.... I was not in the courtroom, but I believe that he WOULD be biased in his court. I have seen him in action...

Lee Benedict
1585
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Lee Benedict 12/15/11 - 06:58 pm
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realitycheck, my opinion is

realitycheck, my opinion is that some of those who posted understand how sick the convicted's actions are. If Tyrone Jackson of Cherry Tree Crossing or of Magnolia Trace were convicted of these same charges, some might have responded a tad differently. For example, were the circumstances the same? Was Tyrone at one time a former mayor and County Commissioner and part of the GOBN? Did Tyrone go to a foreign country and select five children who grew up in hellish conditions and who cannot speak in Standard English very well, if at all, and then adopt them? Was Tyrone lauded by the media and did the media encourage his reelection? Since Tyrone lives in Cherry Tree Crossing, chances are that he had a different upbringing and socioeconomic status. Perhaps Tyrone honestly did not know that his actions are wrong, illegal, sick...My personal view is that Dean should be placed beneath the jail, but, I may post that view and in a more stern and colorful tone on Facebook. But for this forum, I think that the posters are acting IAW the host's policy.

realitycheck09
307
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realitycheck09 12/15/11 - 07:02 pm
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my.voice - Child molestation

my.voice - Child molestation carries up to 20 years.

Devgru1 - I see you've heard of Judge Blanchard. :) You are correct.

Lee - I just find it very interesting. The comments have always been very tame on this case when, usually, on child sex crimes the comments are quite fierce.

wondersnevercease
9218
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wondersnevercease 12/15/11 - 07:00 pm
0
0
Is this guy guilty?...I do
Unpublished

Is this guy guilty?...I do not know...he was found guilty but that really does not mean squat.....maybe ..maybe not.......who knows...the jury's decision means nothing to me.......is he guilty..or not?...Will we ever know?

Lee Benedict
1585
Points
Lee Benedict 12/15/11 - 07:03 pm
0
0
"I have heard that Judge

"I have heard that Judge Blanchard gave the prosecution a few unusual breaks in this case. I'm not surprised. He is a biased Judge."

Really? How so? "I have heard" is not sufficient. If what you wrote is the truth, and if it broke/stretched the law/rights of the accused, then I would think that Dean's lawyer has grounds for appeal. If you are going to make such a charge against the judge, at least back it up with something much more compelling than, "I have heard".

realitycheck09
307
Points
realitycheck09 12/15/11 - 07:07 pm
0
0
Lee - I'll give you an

Lee - I'll give you an example of an unusual break: Letting them admit evidence of the "similar transaction." Saying a 14 year old boy touching a 12 year old girl was "similar" to this crime is ridiculous. (Please note, I have no opinion about the veracity of these charges - the jury found him guilty, so I assume he was).

jbartley
545
Points
jbartley 12/15/11 - 07:10 pm
0
0
my. voice... Yes it was open.

my. voice... Yes it was open.

jbartley
545
Points
jbartley 12/15/11 - 10:25 pm
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0
Remember these jurors were

Remember these jurors were from here and they did their job.

jbartley
545
Points
jbartley 12/15/11 - 07:12 pm
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0
Judge Blanchard was very FAIR

Judge Blanchard was very FAIR to Dean!

Lee Benedict
1585
Points
Lee Benedict 12/15/11 - 07:10 pm
0
0
reality, yes, you are

reality, yes, you are correct. I will say that it is chow time and people are returning home from work. Give it a few hours and perhaps a few "from the heart" comments will appear. I just hope that given the sick and perverted nature of the crime of child molestation, posters will be somewhat sensitive of the victims. That's why I am on good behavior. Plus, I cannot see gloating or rejoicing about the conviction. If he did what he was accused of, then I hope that he is found guilty. If he is innocent, NOT not guilty, but INNOCENT, then I hope that he walks out a free man. Other than that, let us remember the victims and then move on.

wondersnevercease
9218
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wondersnevercease 12/15/11 - 07:12 pm
0
0
"the jury found him guilty,
Unpublished

"the jury found him guilty, so I assume he was)."...really???

...our justice system is so broke..........a jury means nothing (you really believe theses folks knew nothing about the case?..LOL)........we will never know if the guy was guilty or not........

realitycheck09
307
Points
realitycheck09 12/15/11 - 07:12 pm
0
0
Agreed, Lee. I just think

Agreed, Lee. I just think everyone - even my "Tyrone" person - should be entitled to the same grace.

scorehouse
196
Points
scorehouse 12/15/11 - 07:19 pm
0
0
moron. that's what he gets
Unpublished

moron. that's what he gets for importing 5 illegal aliens? hope they are happy.

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