The year in review: The Scott Dean trial

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When allegations began surfacing about why his adopted children had been removed from his home in October 2010, then-Columbia County Commissioner Scott Dean offered a strong rebuke to his accusers.

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 both counts. A sentencing date has not been set.  JIM BLAYLOCK/FILE
JIM BLAYLOCK/FILE
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 both counts. A sentencing date has not been set.


“These accusations are completely false,” he said in an e-mail to the news media, “and we will be totally vindicated.”

A year later, Dean would be found guilty on two counts of child molestation in the area’s most high-profile trial in 2011. Dean, also a former Harlem mayor, had been accused of exposing himself and inappropriately touching one of his adopted teen daughters.

The four-day trial this month featured Dean disputing charges from his daughter that he crawled into her bed at night and touched her. She also said that Dean, 42, exposed himself to her by opening a towel he was wearing and said he wanted to have sex.

A sentencing date for Dean has not been set. Child molestation carries a sentence of five to 20 years, according to Assistant District Attorney Parks White.

Dean’s home life became public when Columbia County authorities removed four of his five children, who had been adopted from Guatemala, on Oct. 27, 2010. A fifth child, Marlin “Lilly” Dean, 17, had been reported missing about 10 days earlier and was later found in Mexico.

Dean was re-elected as the District 4 commissioner in November 2010 despite the cloud hanging over his head and accusations several months earlier of sending inappropriate text messages to a married county employee.

He resigned from office in February, when he was indicted on the child molestation charges. Bill Morris, who replaced Dean in a special election, summed up the feelings of many Columbia County residents after the trial.

“I’m just glad that it’s over,” Morris said after the Dec. 13 verdict. “It’s been a fast ordeal. I just want us to move forward.”

ABOUT THE SERIES

The Augusta Chronicle looks back at the big stories of 2011.

SATURDAY: The Augusta State men’s golf team showed its 2010 national title wasn’t a fluke.

SUNDAY: Lady Antebellum didn’t forget its local ties.

MONDAY: The Augusta Judicial Center and John H. Ruffin Jr. Courthouse, the Kroc Center and Costco opened.

TUESDAY: City Administrator Fred Russell managed to survive controversy.

WEDNESDAY: Richmond County school Superintendent Frank Roberson missed the first half of the school year after emergency brain surgery.

THURSDAY: Suspensions and retirements of top officials made for an eventful year at the Augusta-Richmond County Fire Department.

TODAY: Former Columbia County Commissioner Scott Dean was convicted of child molestation.

SATURDAY: Two area law enforcement officers – Richmond County sheriff’s Deputy James D. Paugh and Aiken Public Safety Officer Scotty Richardson – were killed in the line of duty.

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