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Scott Dean denied new child molestation trial

JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
Former Columbia County Commissioner Scott Dean shakes the hand of his attorney, Pete Theodocion, after Judge James Blanchard denied Dean's request for a new trial.
Friday, June 15, 2012 1:32 PM
Last updated Saturday, June 16, 2012 2:09 AM
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A Superior Court judge denied former Columbia County Commis­sion­er Scott Dean a new child molestation trial Friday.

Scott Dean  SPECIAL
SPECIAL
Scott Dean


Dean, who was convicted in Decem­ber of molesting his adopted teen daughter, filed a motion for a new trial in February.

After hearing arguments from Dean’s attorney, Pete Theodocion, Judge James G. Blanchard Jr. denied the request.

“Let the appellate process begin,” Blanchard said after announcing his decision at the Evans courthouse.

The jury found Dean guilty of exposing himself to and inappropriately touching his teen daughter, one of five children he and his wife adopted from Guatemala in 2008. The girl claimed Dean entered her room at night and touched her. He denied the charges.

Theodocion argued that the allegations were made up. He said testimony should have been allowed in Dean’s trial that showed his daughter lied in a similar situation in Guatemala, where she suffered abuse from her parents.

Dean’s oldest daughter, Marlin, testified at the hearing that her sister lied by telling a Guatemalan judge that her biological father murdered her brother. Marlin said the false testimony was an attempt by her sister to get her and her family into an orphanage.

At the trial, Theodocion alleged the girl gave false testimony against Dean. Marlin testified then that her sister desperately wanted out of her Harlem home because she didn’t get along with Dean’s wife.

“She had done this in the past,” Theodocion said. “She was going to use that same tool again.”

Assistant District Attorney Madon­na Little said at the hearing that testimony accusing the girl of lying in a Guatemalan courtroom wasn’t allowed because the testimony didn’t involve a sex crime. The law, Little said, lets attorneys present testimony of false accusations only when the victim lied about sexual misconduct.

Also at trial, prosecutors introduced testimony that Dean at age 14 molested two 12-year-old girls. Theodocion argued that the testimony was inappropriate because the incidents didn’t involve an adult and child.

Theodocion said the incidents, which happened at a group sleepover in 1984, were too old to show Dean’s state of mind. He noted that the incidents were never documented with authorities.

“They are too remote to be pertinent,” he said. “It’s just hard to defend yourself against those kind of
allegations.”

Theodocion alleged that statements from the prosecutor and testimony from the victims of those 1984 incidents prejudiced the jury against Dean.

The jury convicted Dean on two counts of child molestation. In February, Blanchard sentenced him to 20 years in prison and 20 years on probation. Based on guidelines from the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, Dean won’t be eligible for parole for 18 years.

Theodocion has 30 days to file an appeal of Dean’s verdict with the Georgia Court of Appeals.

Dean served on the Har­lem City Council and more than five years as mayor before winning a seat on the commission in July 2008.

He won the July 2010 Re­pub­li­can primary in the District 4 commission race despite being accused weeks earlier of exchanging inappropriate text messages with a married county employee.

He resigned from the commission in February 2011 when he was indicted on the child molestation charges.

Comments (33)

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Riverman1
70544
Points
Riverman1 06/15/12 - 01:46 pm
8
0

Theodocion's biggest mistake

Theodocion's biggest mistake was letting the girl lie about Ashley Wright. That backfired like a 426 hemihead. I know one soldier who is smiling.

scoobynews
3697
Points
scoobynews 06/15/12 - 02:06 pm
1
1

Don't get it??

Dateline here is an interesting show for you.

MachineMade
34
Points
MachineMade 06/15/12 - 03:24 pm
3
4

Uh What?!?

The story raises questions and makes things muddier. I don't think the two 14 year olds should have testified after these decades (3?). Is there a statute of limitations on witnesses?
And 20 and 20? Read where another molester got 5 years prison and 3 years probation.
But I'm easily confused...

ripjones256
-1
Points
ripjones256 06/15/12 - 03:53 pm
1
0

This Case Still Smells

Unpublished

I would agree MachineMade - thirty years, when they were all 12-14 is a real stretch for me. I worked with Scott for several years @ Federal Paper. I still have a bunch of questions that were never answered. And I also agree the sentence was pretty steep, based upon what other similar cases have received.

my.voice
4194
Points
my.voice 06/15/12 - 04:45 pm
3
2

Good....go directly to

Good....go directly to jail.....do NOT pass GO.

PS: What happened to your blonde hair?

Willow Bailey
20250
Points
Willow Bailey 06/15/12 - 05:29 pm
7
3

I don't care for Dean's

I don't care for Dean's choices of behavior, however, I would not have been able to convict him based on the facts as I have heard them. I am sure Theodocion is not surprised with Judge Blanchard's decision. And I believe the sentence was unfair.

OhWell
326
Points
OhWell 06/15/12 - 09:01 pm
3
3

Prison life must be agreeing

Prison life must be agreeing with him cause he certainly looks better with out his bleached hair!

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 06/15/12 - 10:06 pm
2
3

Something just doesn't sit

Something just doesn't sit well with this case.

Willow Bailey
20250
Points
Willow Bailey 06/15/12 - 10:24 pm
4
3

I agree, Patty.

I agree, Patty.

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 06/16/12 - 12:07 am
0
5

Lakeside High School in 1995...

was one of the very best "regular" high schools in GA. With Julius as principal, Lewis as school resource officer, Mae as chief counselor, Chuck and Diana as English teachers, Debbie as a Math teacher, Steve as a Physics teacher, Ann & Mary as Biology teachers, Manis as a Science teacher, John as a History teacher, Sharon as Special Education chair, Rikki as Cafeteria Manager and others too-numerous-to-mention: A first-class faculty and staff.

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 06/16/12 - 12:09 am
3
2

There seems to be a lot of

There seems to be a lot of inconsistencies with the testimony in this case. And the punishment for this crime is very severe. I've seen child molestors that do much, much worse and are not sentenced this harshly.

Riverman1
70544
Points
Riverman1 06/16/12 - 07:31 am
3
0

Lakeside95, obviously this

Lakeside95, obviously this whole thing hurts you and I'm not going to take advantage of you. Note, I found problems with Dean's character starting before this thing even broke. I have been ever consistent and didn't start to pile on after this horrendous deed. He obviously has a long pattern of immoral behavior.

You do yourself no good when you say Ashley Wright lied. If you think that's true and Janet Weinberger, the guardian ad litem, would say something contradicting Wright, why didn't she?

Keep in mind, DFACS, the Sheriff's Office and the DA's office all reviewed the evidence and wanted him arrested. I can personally feel sympathy for you and anyone connected to the family, including the daughters. Really, it's just a tragic situation.

I'm reminded of the honorable judge not too far from here who retired and at his retirement it was noted the way he always treated defendants with respect. He remarked it was easy because except for the grace of God he could have been on the other side of things. Sympathy doesn't prevent justice from being served.

Willow Bailey
20250
Points
Willow Bailey 06/16/12 - 08:32 am
4
2

As citizens, we cannot know

As citizens, we cannot know for sure how law enforcement viewed the accusations. State laws have tied the hands of the Sheriff's Department in at least two areas; one being charges of domestic violence and the other being charges of sexual misconduct. The Georgia Legislature dictates the criteria which requires an arrest leaving the investigating police officer no options.

In my humble opinion, Dean's personality traits, political opponents, and reputation as a womanizer greatly distanced him from any opportunity to be given even a small amount of credibility.

Setting aside the argument as to the motivations of the girls or validity of the verdict, it is my opinion, that the punishment is so unfairly severe; I don't know how the judge sleeps. In fairness to him, I suppose he felt under tremendous public and political pressure to make an example out of Scott Dean. It's just all very sad to me.

416
Points
Lakeside95 06/16/12 - 08:42 am
1
3

I heard Ashley Wright say to

I heard Ashley Wright say to Marlin "why should we believe you? If you lied I could put you in jail." I was there. While you or I could understand that she was speaking hypothetical- Marlin took her words as a threat.
Riverman- Yes, your contempt for Dean has always been there. Without you- who would take up for Soldier Boy? But at what point does contempt become out right lies, innuendo and disdain for the truth?
I am so happy that this case is out of Blanchards hands.

416
Points
Lakeside95 06/16/12 - 08:45 am
1
4

As we have recently found out

As we have recently found out with Joe Meal's case....immoral is not always illegal.

scoobynews
3697
Points
scoobynews 06/16/12 - 08:57 am
3
2

Patty P - I was thinking the

Patty P - I was thinking the same exact thing! How on earth do we have so many sex offenders free on the streets that we have a database to find out if they LIVE in your neighborhood. If sentences are this harsh none of these folks should be out in the public! From the information I gathered it was exposure and touching no penetration or oral. Yet we have freaks out on the street who have done far worse. Makes me wonder how on earth they get to roam around on the street but not this guy?? Don't get me wrong I don't want any sex offender on the street but why are some out here that have done the above mentioned that were far more serious. How on earth are you a child molester but yet you only have ONE child (your bitter adopted teenage daughter) who has accused you and no other victims. There were several girls in that house why only her?? Even the older sister said there was no inappropriate behavior. Now we find out that in Guatamala that this same girl lied on her own parents?? Come on?? Something is not right here. In fact this whole case smells of good ol boy politics were maybe some of them were jealous of Dean kind of like some type of old high school "mean boys" mentality to me. No one who supposedly "exposed himself" should be sitting in a prison for TWENTY years when we have far worse living in our towns and neighborhoods !!! I also can't believe the 1984 foolishness was even brought into play in this case. How on Earth did he manage to control these sexual abuse urges for so many years? Where are all the other victims?? Look at the current case going on with the coach from Penn State he has dozens of accusers coming out to tell their story. Where are all Dean's at? As stated before Dateline here is a story for you. The Dean family may not want to go national but you know what this is one case were I would love to see some of these folks squirm as they are asked some tough questions such as "why did you sentence this man to twenty years in prison?" What about their natural children? How will they feel if it is ever discovered that this girl lied? Look at the guy that just got out of PRISON accused of rape who finally got his name cleared because the woman finally admitted she lied. If you think people are all guilty who go to jail think again. If Dean did do this crime then punish him just as you would someone else who has done the same but to give him the max when he has no prior history that is extreme.

Riverman1
70544
Points
Riverman1 06/16/12 - 09:02 am
1
1

One thing that surprised me

One thing that surprised me was the harsh sentence, but as has been noted that's apparently the standard. I know some others in Columbia County who received very long sentences for similar things, if anything in these kind of crimes can be considered similar.

Riverman1
70544
Points
Riverman1 06/16/12 - 09:06 am
4
0

Joe Neal was actually

Joe Neal was actually convicted even though not for the rape charge. That girl was 18 and not his daughter.

Riverman1
70544
Points
Riverman1 06/16/12 - 09:14 am
3
0

Lakeside95 said, "I heard

Lakeside95 said, "I heard Ashley Wright say to Marlin "why should we believe you? If you lied I could put you in jail." I was there. While you or I could understand that she was speaking hypothetical- Marlin took her words as a threat."

See this goes back to my opening comment. Theodocion made a fatal mistake when he brought this up and brought what Ashley Wright said into the mix. If there were any ambiguity about the conversation, meanings or whatever, Weinberger could have corroborated your view. Wright knows very clearly what transpired and is reputable. She knows what's a lie and what isn't in about 50 shades of grey.

Lakeside95, I've been honest and courteous with you in past email. You know that. Because you don't like the conviction, don't take it out on everyone else.

Little Lamb
40136
Points
Little Lamb 06/16/12 - 09:19 am
2
0

She said . . .

Willow Bailey's 5:29 post reflects my own thoughts on this matter exactly.

416
Points
Lakeside95 06/16/12 - 09:28 am
0
3

Soapy so because he had an

Soapy so because he had an inappropriate relationship it shouldn't matter if he is truly guilty? Wow
Yes he's was employed at one of the chemical companies prior to and during his public service.

Riverman1
70544
Points
Riverman1 06/16/12 - 10:07 am
2
1

Honestly, I think Dean has

Honestly, I think Dean has been punished enough and I wouldn't be opposed if he somehow got out or prison if it didn't mean some kind of ruling declaring him not guilty. Not to be graphic, but there was no penetration.

But you have to remember, at least one other well connected person from Columbia County is spending 20 years in prison for similar deeds. I don't think Dean is a stupid man and if he were monitored he wouldn't do anything unlawful again in my opinion.

What I would do is work on the aspect of the judge allowing the episode of the two West Virginia girls being sexually assaulted by Dean when they were young being brought up in court. That evidence shouldn't have been allowed in my opinion. Maybe there are grounds for another trial if his conviction is overturned on that matter.

Again, my sympathy to the girls and most of Dean's family. Even a little bit for him if he indeed sits in prison for 20 years.

Riverman1
70544
Points
Riverman1 06/16/12 - 09:38 am
2
1

Blaylock Photo Powerful

Blaylock's photo perfectly catches the emotions. Dean clasping his attorney's hand with both hands in a pleading gesture while wearing his prison, orange suit with the face of the stern judge watching.

416
Points
Lakeside95 06/16/12 - 09:43 am
2
1

I don't "like" the conviction

I don't "like" the conviction is a supreme understatement. Im am horrified that an innocent man has lost 6 months of his life to the political machinations of these people.

If the only issue was that i didn't like or was bothered ny the conviction- maybe it wouldn't make me nauseous to visit him in prison. Seeing an innocent man's children defend him publicly is one of the most difficult things to watch. Knowing every day he is in prison he is missing one more day with his elderly parents. Knowing that every day he is an innocent man in jail he misses one more day of his grandson growing up...these are the issues that 'upset' me.

Willow Bailey
20250
Points
Willow Bailey 06/16/12 - 10:38 am
3
0

And of course, don't

And of course, don't forget about, one more day away from his wife.

twolane
191
Points
twolane 06/16/12 - 12:03 pm
1
0

not beyond resonable doubt

Unpublished

i hope you folks never do jury duty...i know a man who raped an 8 year old he didnt even do 15 years......the first accuser said hey i lied.....then the little sister got involved and she already lied about her own family......there is no way you could convict this man on the evidence...his once accuser said i lied he was a great dad...he shoulda left em in the ghettos of guatamala......i dont like dean cant stand the man but to send a man to prison because you dont like his morals you folks are a joke.....and the soldier thing give me a break the woman married to a soldier is the only one responsible for her vows and there are plenty military wives in the clubs of augusta doing this every night while their hubbies are in the war....join us in the 21st century and leave the 50s behind

scoobynews
3697
Points
scoobynews 06/16/12 - 12:33 pm
3
2

LOL

So whoever gave my comment a thumbs down are you going to honestly tell me we don't have sex offenders who have raped children living on our streets that have spent less time in prison? Really? Seriously? I don't know Dean nor his family other than what I have seen or heard on the news. What I have seen has been a witchhunt or shall I say warlockhunt. How can you just wake up one day at this man's age and suddenly find your adopted daughter so sexually appealing that you don't find the others appealing just HER! So much so you decide to expose yourself to only her. No reports of any other children being abused ever! I am sorry but I am not buying it. As for his past mistakes involving possible cheating, that is between him and the parties involved who were all adults. That is for them to work out and from what I see on a daily basis he is not the only man in America who has had an inappropriate relationship but that doesn't make him a child molester. It takes two to tango and who gives a flip if she was a soldier's wife. What does that make her untouchable goods?? I have a friend whose husband is a soldier and guess what he cheated on HER! I can't but once again think of that young man recently released from prison after spending several years locked up for a rape he never commited and amazingly he seems to have forgiven the person who put him there. All those years of his life never to be gotten back because of the lie one person told. I don't know how that woman can ever live with herself because I know I couldn't.

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 06/16/12 - 01:24 pm
2
1

Too bad...

that posters are allowed to use pseudonyms. Whatever happened to "the courage of one's convictions?"

416
Points
Lakeside95 06/16/12 - 01:57 pm
1
1

Well my name is Sarah Harper

Well my name is Sarah Harper Scott. And most of my comments have been removed so very little makes sense. Y'all have been assassinations his character for years- I finally begin to defend him and I am reported for abuse.

416
Points
Lakeside95 06/16/12 - 02:21 pm
1
2

Soapy why is that soldier boy

Soapy why is that soldier boy such an issue? Was his wife forced to text?

Scott Dean doesn't lie.

And since you don't have time for sacred oath breakers...your life must be very full of painted friends or very empty. Either way you continue to comment...

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