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.”

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Cynical old woman
1102
Points
Cynical old woman 12/15/11 - 10:13 pm
0
0
Wonders...what do you think

Wonders...what do you think would be a better system? A solitary person, i.e. Judge, decide? Folks on here are griping about the judge in this case and he didn't even make the final decision!!

For the record...I'm not a Scott Dean fan and thought all along he was guilty. Must have been a ton of evidence to get an elected, high profile per on indicted. But I don't understand allowing the past teenage incident being allowed.

Guess we can all for the appeal to start.

Cynical old woman
1102
Points
Cynical old woman 12/15/11 - 10:19 pm
0
0
Wonders...by the way my

Wonders...by the way my husband served on a Federal grand jury in Savannah a couple of years ago. They met once a month for 16 months....and he NEVER spoke a word to me about what went on. Until the drug dealing indictment was in the newspaper...then he said, "that's what I've been hearing all this time.". My husband is 60+ years and we've been married over 30 years BUT he took an oath NOT to discuss anything....see some of us are honest.

crkgrdn
2287
Points
crkgrdn 12/15/11 - 11:03 pm
0
0
I came to know Scott in

I came to know Scott in Leadership Augusta Class of 2005. I am so very disappointed. There are so many, many people that are disappointed and left wondering. So sad for all of us. We are left to pray for his family and pray for our community.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 12/15/11 - 11:18 pm
0
0
And don't forget to pray

And don't forget to pray for him, crkgrdn.

cow, drop a line sometime.

wittyno43
18
Points
wittyno43 12/15/11 - 11:21 pm
0
0
Cynical old woman-When I

Cynical old woman-When I first heard about the teen incident in the paper I also thought that was strange that they were called as witnesses. But when I read their testimony (they are now 39 year old women), and from the way they tell it, it definately does not sound like a game of show and tell. They testified that Dean did things to them when they were sleeping. it was pretty graphic, but if you want to know the details you can read them here:
http://www.wrdw.com/crimeteam12/headlines/Jury_selection_underway_for_ma...

jbartley
545
Points
jbartley 12/16/11 - 12:13 am
0
0
Lee, Sarah Scott in my

Lee, Sarah Scott in my opinion her testimony helped convict Dean. I personally thank Sarah Harper should be charged with obstruction of justice! While the oldest girl was in Mexico she talked to the girl, sent her money and bought her a plane ticket back to America. But in court she refused to say how much money she and Scott Dean sent her in Mexico.

Lee Benedict
1585
Points
Lee Benedict 12/16/11 - 12:35 am
0
0
I thought that she was Vice

I thought that she was Vice Chair and Megan Seda was Chairman, and then Sarah became Special Events Chair (or some such thing), Anthony Sweat became the VC. BTW, she was hired by Herman Cain's campaign.

So she really did send money. Wow. Now that the dashing GOP golden boy was actually convicted, I am curious as to when he begins to sing in exchange for the promise of a private cell in a minimum security prison. Then again, he may warm up to Rogers State Prison.

Lee Benedict
1585
Points
Lee Benedict 12/16/11 - 12:36 am
0
0
jb, someone removed your last

jb, someone removed your last post about Scott's role in the YRs.

jbartley
545
Points
jbartley 12/16/11 - 01:39 am
0
0
Lee, you my be right she was

Lee, you my be right she was Vice Chair of the Columbia county young Republicans.

jbartley
545
Points
jbartley 12/16/11 - 01:38 am
0
0
Lee, I think they changed the

Lee, I think they changed the name to Augusta Young Republicans all 6 members!!

Dixieman
14943
Points
Dixieman 12/16/11 - 06:22 am
0
0
Game Over.

Game Over.

TrukinRanger
1748
Points
TrukinRanger 12/16/11 - 07:20 am
0
0
Jbartley... since you were
Unpublished

Jbartley... since you were there... and in your opinion.. is there any chance the girls made this up for attention?? The article mentioned they changed their story several times. That type issue bothers me in trials... IF someone was making it up, it ruins someone else's life for a long time. On the other hand, the jury had the chance to decide this so I would have to go with them and their conviction.

corgimom
32233
Points
corgimom 12/16/11 - 07:47 am
0
0
What amazes me is all the

What amazes me is all the people that knew him that are "disappointed". Child molesters come from all walks of life, all socioeconomic levels, and look and act normal. That's how they get away with these terrible crimes against children.

Can you imagine the fear and terror those children had? From someone who was supposed to protect them and love them?

No sentence will be long enough. Unfortunately, some day he'll get out of prison- so that he can do this again.

I just wonder how many others are out there, that didn't come forward.

usklxm72
13
Points
usklxm72 12/16/11 - 10:03 am
0
0
Yes, game is over. Justice

Yes, game is over. Justice has been served.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 12/16/11 - 10:27 am
0
0
Child molesters have a very

Child molesters have a very rough time in prison. He's gonna wish he'd been able to control himself very soon.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 12/16/11 - 10:47 am
0
0
There is an intangible. Like

There is an intangible. Like the former det. commenting about body language. I didn't catch an animated Mr. Dean to survey his non-verbal demeanor, but the eyes don't lie in his photographs. They hide truths and serve as a facade, or they reveal innocence. My interpretation is enough for me so I consider the verdict as either confirmation or a reason to go back and re-evaluate the specifics. I believe yall are right, Game Over.

checkitout
7
Points
checkitout 12/16/11 - 12:11 pm
0
0
I was shocked when I heard

I was shocked when I heard quilty... I still do not feel he is quilty. I am not a good friend to Dean and his family but I know them. I feel the girl did this to pay Renee back for keeping her in line. The girl wanted on her own and Renee corrected her. Now Scott is paying for it. They should have lie Detector both. I know it can't be used in court but it helps to know the truth. Don't feel sorry for the kids, the Dean's thought they was giving them a good life here in the states and all they wanted was out from where they was. Gave them to much. I feel for the Dean family. Now send the girl back home

SouthernChic
3
Points
SouthernChic 12/16/11 - 01:20 pm
0
0
tvveedie-where did you read

tvveedie-where did you read the comment about the former det. (detective? is that what you mean?) and body language? It's interesting you brought that up because I kind of thought the same thing. Of course, I'm no expert, but having children teaches you a lot about what the eyes really say.

scott-hudson
10
Points
scott-hudson 12/16/11 - 01:22 pm
0
0
This was check...checkmate

This was check...checkmate has not been put into play.

harley_52
23272
Points
harley_52 12/16/11 - 02:50 pm
0
0
Chillen said "Child molesters

Chillen said "Child molesters have a very rough time in prison. He's gonna wish he'd been able to control himself very soon."

Whatever sentence he gets will probably be a death sentence in reality.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 12/16/11 - 05:17 pm
0
0
@

@ SouthernChic

wittyno43Thursday, Dec. 15 8:48 PM

page 2 of the comments

Lee Benedict
1585
Points
Lee Benedict 12/16/11 - 05:27 pm
0
0
I have held my tongue on this

I have held my tongue on this long enough, and, since no other poster made reference of this, I will.

Let's look at this whole sick, twisted ordeal from the public's beginning:
1) Scott Dean was caught, busted, popped, for carrying on an improper relationship with a county employee, to the tune of 900+ text messages within a 30-day period to said county employee, who, as Dean, was married. This woman was married to a soldier, a deployed soldier. Scott Hudson reported that the GPS of one of the party's vehicles was indicating that the equipment was at the other party's residence at 1:00AM or thereabouts. The primary election was 1-2 weeks away.
2) The local media stressed that Dean must be returned for another term so that he can resign after his primary victory and then the taxpayers can fund a special election because some in the media do not believe that David Payne was a "viable candidate", and, Dean was an establishment boy-do.
3) #2, the local media, NOT SCOTT DEAN, pushed the resign after winning angle. So the media is Dean's public cheerleader.
4) Dean wins. Dean and Sarah Harper Scott, and others close to the campaign, were gloating and boasting the victory while in attendance at the Columbia County GOP breakfast a few days later. Ha Ha, we won, get over it.
5) Dean does not resign as the media so brazenly informed the public.
6) After #1 was made known to the public, Dean's Campaign Manager, a SCHOOL BOARD TRUSTEE, stayed on in that role until after the election.
7) Dean was accused of...and you know the rest.

That was a very small yet accurate historical snapshot of this unfortunate and sick mess.

Now the trial. Called to testify for the defense as to the accused's character was Ben Harbin. Are you kidding me? A State Representative. A former Deacon. What ever possessed him to testify on behalf of a character such as Scott Dean? And, he knows at least, AT LEAST, as much as we know. Think about why a person of Ben Harbin's stature would stroll in to the courtroom and talk about Scott Dean's "reliability". If Harbin and Dean were Democrats, would anyone have an issue with this? This is beyond any form of sanity.

Cynical old woman
1102
Points
Cynical old woman 12/16/11 - 07:10 pm
0
0
Lee..Ben Harbin...what was

Lee..Ben Harbin...what was the outcome of his DUI? And where was Dean's wife's testimony, the Harlem residents who believed in Dean, the First Baptist folks he worked so hard with in Harlem??

Why were none of them called to be a character witness??

I hope Harbin's move ends up being political suicide.

SouthernChic
3
Points
SouthernChic 12/16/11 - 07:48 pm
0
0
Thanks tvveedie, I don't know

Thanks tvveedie, I don't know how I missed that comment the first time around.
I was SHOCKED to read what the retired detective said about what the twins from virgina claimed Dean did to them. I don't care if the twins and Dean were close in age like others said, it does not sound at all like a mutual thing.

And why were those details omitted from the Augusta Chronicle articles? What else am I missing?

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 12/16/11 - 09:54 pm
0
0
Any information released on

Any information released on what the 9:30 a.m. hearing was about today?

Cynical old woman
1102
Points
Cynical old woman 12/16/11 - 10:20 pm
0
0
Not a word, Willow!

Not a word, Willow!

Lee Benedict
1585
Points
Lee Benedict 12/17/11 - 12:25 am
0
0
Cynical, I was not at the

Cynical, I was not at the trial so I cannot comment on who might have said what. Regarding Ben's DUI, his sentence/fine was pretty much in line with all other first-time offenders...don't remember what the specifics were. Now, being allowed to keep his license, and the "official looking letter" received by the arresting officer, and the bunches of delays...seems like a series of events that may lead one to deduce special treatment was being given.

If I had to venture a guess, I would say that Dean knows many things that may produce many sleepless nights for many Columbia County pompous politicians and in-crowd wannabes who think that they influence the 23.5 degree eliptical more than they really do. Plus, look at who is being silent on these boards; some good old boys and their crews are very nervous right about now.

Austin Rhodes
2862
Points
Austin Rhodes 12/17/11 - 10:54 am
0
0
It was prudent and logical to

It was prudent and logical to push for Dean over David Payne in the primary. No one had any idea these other charges would surface, not a clue. As far as whether he would resign or not, there was more embarrassing info involving his tryst with the employee that was held back (and not relevant any more) that would have forced his hand there...including word from other Commissioners that THEY would shut him out if he did not resign.

The 60k was not too high a price to pay to end up with Bill Morris...he was well worth it.

If you missed the details that came out yesterday, you missed a good many pieces to the puzzle that now explain how and why the case turned out the way it did.

Lee...no need to tiptoe, if you have a problem with specific people, spit it out. This is a political conversation and I can't believe the AC would have a problem with it.

Riverman1
83725
Points
Riverman1 12/17/11 - 11:42 am
0
0
I had a back and forth series

I had a back and forth series of comments with someone on here who is very close to Dean and was in court every day. I think I know who she is and her comments in the CCNT were revealing.

Her comment about Mike Sleeper being a fair weather friend for not supporting him leads me to believe they are ticked. Dean had given campaign contributions to Sleeper from his own campaign chest. As mad as they are with Sleeper, it's going to be interesting to see what comes out. Those two were VERY CLOSE.

By the way, Austin, you were a little off on your projected surprises. As it turns out there was a big one, afterall, Ashley Wright on the stand.

freeradical
1075
Points
freeradical 12/17/11 - 12:04 pm
0
0
Dean can expect a very good

Dean can expect a very good result at his sentencing.

Child molestation is the perfered crime of the rich and powerful,

Dr's , Politicans , Judges , Teachers , Clergy, Professors , etc ,etc, .

The Sandusky's and the Fine's of the world.

That is why we have so many convicted molestors on the street that

we need websites to track the hordes of them.

The most truthful statement is this whole trial came from Dean's

attorney when he said that even if Dean did all that was said , a crime

might not have occured depending on what month it took place.

And therein lies the rich and powerful's pending solution to the ever

increasing prediliction towards young flesh and all of it's current

complications.

Simply change the legal status of the young flesh.

It is a well founded, and effective legal principle.

This is how it became legally possible to kill the unborn.

Simply change the status of the unborn.

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