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Scott Dean accuser recants, his wife says

Adopted daughter wrote letter last month saying she made up story

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 11:03 AM
Last updated Thursday, March 7, 2013 2:15 AM
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More than a year after former Columbia County Commissioner Scott Dean’s daughter testified that he molested her, she wrote a letter to his wife recanting her story.

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Former Columbia County Commissioner Scott Dean shook the hand of his attorney, Peter Theodocion, last June after a hearing for a motion for new trial.   JIM BLAYLOCK/FILE
JIM BLAYLOCK/FILE
Former Columbia County Commissioner Scott Dean shook the hand of his attorney, Peter Theodocion, last June after a hearing for a motion for new trial.


Dean was convicted of two counts of child molestation in December 2011. He is serving his 20-year prison sentence at Georgia State Prison in Reidsville.

He was accused of exposing himself to and inappropriately touching his teenage daughter, then 15. She is one of five children Dean and his wife, Renee, adopted from Guatemala in 2008. The girl claimed Dean entered her room at night and touched her. He denied the charges when he testified at the trial.

Renee Dean said she received a letter in mid-February from the now 18-year-old girl, who was living in foster care, recanting the allegations she made against her husband. A copy of the letter also was sent to Dean’s attorney, Pete Theodocion.

“It says that he is completely innocent and that he never touched her,” Renee Dean said. “She’s very specific about everything and recants everything.”

The girl has since moved back into the Dean home.

Renee Dean and Theo­docion did not provide a copy of the letter, and District Attorney Ashley Wright said Wednesday that she had not been made aware of such a letter or any recantations.

Theodocion, who said he has confirmed with the girl that she wrote the letter, argued at Dean’s trial and at a hearing last June for a new trial, saying the allegations against his client were fabricated.

Superior Court Judge James G. Blanchard Jr. didn’t allow testimony that the girl previously lied by telling a Guatemalan judge that her biological father killed her brother. The oldest of the adopted children, Marlin Dean, testified that the false testimony was an attempt to get the children out of an abusive home and into an orphanage.

At the June hearing in June, a prosecutor said the testimony wasn’t allowed because it didn’t involve a sex crime and the law allows attorneys to present only testimony of false accusations in a similar crime.

Theodocion’s appeal for a retrial to the Court of Appeals of Georgia has not yet been decided. State Appeals Court Clerk Holly Sparrow said that Dean’s case is currently before the court and that she expects a judgment to be handed down before the end of July.

Theodocion said he plans to ask the appeals court to remand Dean’s case back to the trial court, where he will file an “extraordinary motion” for a new trial late this week or early next week. That motion is one typically filed when new evidence is presented after a conviction.

“This evidence is worth a new trial so a new jury can hear the current story,” Theodocion said.

Renee Dean said her husband is excited about the girl’s recantation and is ready for a new trial, if it is granted.

“Then it’s a slam dunk,” she said. “No victim, no crime.”

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palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 03/06/13 - 12:22 pm
6
1
Have mercy. What a
Unpublished

Have mercy. What a nightmare.

rocketserve
280
Points
rocketserve 03/06/13 - 12:55 pm
3
14
Oh boy...
Unpublished

Funny how this mystery letter all of the sudden comes to light now that she is back in the house. I am not sure who is more messed up in this whole deal, the kids or the Dean's.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 03/06/13 - 01:12 pm
18
3
Free Scott Dean

Regardless of what is true, the truth will never be known. This girl has told so many versions, it's time to give Scott Dean the benefit of the doubt. 20 years was ludicrous to begin with.

Just My Opinion
5866
Points
Just My Opinion 03/06/13 - 01:23 pm
9
1
I agree with Willow. Way too

I agree with Willow. Way too many questions have come up that have made Dean's guilt questionable. If I were Dean, I wouldn't even consider moving back home with that girl in the same vicinity.

MarinerMan
2107
Points
MarinerMan 03/06/13 - 01:36 pm
11
0
Law Needs To Be Changed
Unpublished

The point of law that convicted Scott - the ability to introduce only the evidence that is based on the charge - should be changed. This conviction will be over-turned. Hopefully, during the next legislative session, the law can be re-written, so this can never happen to someone else. Too bad that Scott had to be the "Poster Child". With all that has happened with the girls, I'm not so sure that the Dean's would've made that trip to Guatemala, if they knew then what they know now. @rocketserve, yeah I voted your post down.

Lee Benedict
1625
Points
Lee Benedict 03/06/13 - 01:43 pm
9
0
Let him go

With all of the inconsistencies and funny business, there appears to be grounds to, at the very least, grant him a new trial.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 03/06/13 - 01:46 pm
12
1
JMO, I agree. Dean would do

JMO, I agree. Dean would do well to get a fresh start in another city with no forwarding address.

scoobynews
3896
Points
scoobynews 03/06/13 - 03:32 pm
12
0
Surprised? Nope

I have always thought something wasn't quite right about this whole case. I agree Just My Opinion! I would never step foot back in that house as long as any of those girls were in it.

rocketserve
280
Points
rocketserve 03/06/13 - 03:24 pm
4
17
WOW
Unpublished

So now because his wife 'received' a letter, that she has not produced, from the adopted daughter (that she basically called a liar during the trial) who is now back in the house, everyone is calling for his freedom? Don't you think that his lawyer should have been good enough the first go around to sniff out a lie from a 15 year old and convince a jury to find him innocent? I mean, they had to take the kids out of the house prior to the trial to prevent tampering and now we are led to believe that she has not been pressured to reverse her story by chance? Just when I thought I may want to move back to the area, I am reminded of exactly how much small town mentality still runs rampant.
@marinerman...I think I will survive the thumbs down, maybe.

just an opinion
2718
Points
just an opinion 03/06/13 - 03:29 pm
8
0
Reasonable doubt?

Absolutely. Free the man!

scoobynews
3896
Points
scoobynews 03/06/13 - 07:34 pm
7
0
rocket

The girl has been known to lie and has lied numerous times?? I imagine if it was YOU in prison and someone lied to put you there you would want to be free too! As for why she is back in the house that to me is beyond crazy. I have never seen a more disfunctional bunch!

rocketserve
280
Points
rocketserve 03/06/13 - 03:48 pm
5
2
Scooby...
Unpublished

You are correct, if I felt like I was innocent, I would make sure my lawyers were good enough to sniff out a lie from a child. I am sure the investigators, police, his lawyers, the D.A. had this child questioned and tested and deposed enough to be able to present enough evidence to a jury to show that she was a liar. I mean he did have a jury trial and was found guilty by his peers, like every other person in this country. But you are also correct, that is a disfunctional bunch!! Give him a new trial and see how it goes but you cannot free him based on a supposed letter from his accuser to his wife who called his accuser, who is her own daughter, a liar during the trial.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 03/06/13 - 04:32 pm
6
2
rocketserve, your post does

rocketserve, your post does not indicate that you have followed the whole story. It's more reflective as a reaction rather than a response.

Not one person other than the two involved can say with certainty that justice has been served by locking Dean up for life.

Look on the bright side, we would be just as fair to you.

rocketserve
280
Points
rocketserve 03/06/13 - 04:49 pm
4
5
Willow
Unpublished

No, I have followed this story, starting when his adopted daughter ran away to Mexico and they made no effort to go and get her back when they realized her location, that rose a red flag to me way before the allegations came up of the molestation of the other daughter. While I do not know the Dean's well anymore, I knew them growing up and followed his political career, because I thought it was great that that a fellow alumni was doing good for himself. I have NO personal ax to grind with either of them, I am just trying to look at it objectively and not scream for his release because a letter was produced after the fact and under, what I would call, suspicious circumstances. Like I said, if his appeal fails, let his lawyer ask for a retrial and see what happens. If it comes out that indeed this girl lied, then let him go free. I just find it odd that the daughter/accuser that Renee was saying lied during the trial of her husband, would allow her back into her house and now the letter appears. Just making an observation because I know if someone accused my spouse of something like this and I thought they were lying, I would not only never allow them back into my home, but they would be out of my life forever.

466
Points
Lakeside95 03/06/13 - 05:06 pm
6
3
Your lack of knowledge is amusing...

Rocketserve: You claim to have followed the case but you are wrong on many facts.
From the moment that the family was aware of the oldest daughter's whereabouts there was an effort made to bring her home. It is almost impossible to make a 17 1/2 year old return home if they do not want to, especially across the border. She was told that she could come home and when she was ready she was brought home.

You are obviously not a parent. Children will break your heart, they will steal from you and they will do other horrible things...but as parents know...you still love them. All of the adopted children were abused, neglected and grew up in horrible conditions that you could not imagine. Since you have no idea the mental, physical and emotional issues these children are dealing with, it would behoove you to allow Mrs. Dean to decide whether or not this child should be allowed home.

I certainly hope that your 'knowledge' of Scott and his family will allow you to keep an open mind throughout the long process ahead.

rocketserve
280
Points
rocketserve 03/06/13 - 05:22 pm
5
2
Set him free today then....
Unpublished

I guess he will have defenders no matter what. He must have made a lot of friends while in politics.
@Lakeside, I am a parent. I have raised two kids and while they have not always been angels, if one of them accused me or my spouse of molestation and it was not true as has been the defense by the Dean's, then there is NO WAY I would allow them back into my life. While it may sound harsh, but why allow them to stab me again when they have done it once. We are not talking about small children who make mistakes, we are talking about teenagers who, if their parents did their jobs, knew right from wrong and would understand the results of the lies being told about a subject like this. I am trying to keep an open mind, let the evidence present itself, let Renee produce this letter, let the proper authorities talk to the accuser and come to a determination if she really wrote this with sound mind or if she was coerced into it. If it all comes back that he is innocent, I will be the first to eat crow and say I was wrong.

Dixieman
15996
Points
Dixieman 03/06/13 - 05:31 pm
7
2
DIXIEMAN HAS 10 BILLION POINTS

1. Best lawyers in the world do not have magic wands enabling them to "sniff out" and prove when someone is lying. Sometimes despite your best efforts you just can't do it. Especially in he said/she said cases like this where there is no objective physical evidence.
2. So far we have the defendant's wife saying she has a letter no one else has seen except her and Mr. Dean's lawyer, summarizing its supposed contents. What you need to get a new trial is (a) copy of the letter, (b) prosecutor gets to put accuser on the stand and cross-examine her about the contents of the letter and the facts and circumstances leading up to its creation and delivery. Was she pressured by Mrs. Dean? If not, what led her to recant? Why did she wait a year to do so? Etc. Let's get the accuser on the witness stand under oath, do this and lay the matter to rest.
3. Despite these reservations I think this case stinks and have since the get-go.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 03/06/13 - 07:11 pm
4
1
It's ALL about one's world view

@rocketserve --
"We are not talking about small children who make mistakes, we are talking about teenagers who, if their parents did their jobs, knew right from wrong and would understand the results of the lies being told about a subject like this."

Yes, AND you've made THE POINT. These teens were not reared from birth by the Deens; they are late life adoptees. Based on everything we have read, they have lead very dysfunctional lives where lies have been a vital portion of their culture and survival.

harlemgirl
156
Points
harlemgirl 03/06/13 - 07:20 pm
4
2
Grace

Have any of you heard of God's grace and forgiveness? The Deans have shown these children grace that is beyond understanding. It is a blessing to see in this oftern corrupt world.

P.S. The letter came first, then the moving home, read the articles carefully.

my.voice
4922
Points
my.voice 03/06/13 - 07:34 pm
8
1
To those that think children

To those that think children part of today's society wouldn't lie about something as agregious as molestation then it's you who haven't been parenting in the last decade.

I tend to think that Dean did, in fact, do "something" to this girl, and I further think he's a sexual predator. I further smell some manipulation going on behind the scenes. That said, I'd not want anyone sitting in prison with this hanging over them should they truly be innocent. Truly innocent is the key question here. How one untangles this I don't know.

scoobynews
3896
Points
scoobynews 03/06/13 - 07:43 pm
1
1
Rocket

I have to agree with your stance on allowing them back in your life. There is forgiving but there is also other children whose lives were changed forever by what one person did. I would be distant but no they would not return back into the home with open arms. Some may call it cold but I call it the logical thing to do when you have other children who need you too. These kids because of the accusation of one have been without 2 parents for almost 2 or 3 years? I can't imagine how hard that has been.

AndrewLafa
27
Points
AndrewLafa 03/06/13 - 07:57 pm
3
3
Something's not right

First the oldest sister claimed she was touched by Dean, then once she went back to the Dean household, she claimed she lied.

The second sister stood her ground all during the trial, but once she gets back into the Dean household, she claims she too lied.

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

paladin5
299
Points
paladin5 03/06/13 - 09:01 pm
4
1
COMPASSION AND LOVE.....

Some people do have the Compassion and Love to forgive regardless of the circumstances that impact their lives so negatively. Love and Compassion for these children from another country seems to be the reason that the Dean's acted on. Unfortunately, most people would have a difficult time accepting the results of this act of kindness and caring.

I sense more than opinions and reflection on this situation. Some of the Post border on judgement that ignores the rights of the Deans' to decide how they chose to live and decide. Our reflections often show our subjective emotions as to how our own character would respond in such a situation.

I see regularly people who continue to accept and forgive when family members ignore and abuse the love and efforts of others to help them; drug addicts who steal and lie to their families, juveniles who lie and manipulate in their own interest without regard to the impact on their family and others and the tremendous impact on innocent peoples lives. I keep reminding myself that Perception is Reality, but Perception may not be the Truth.

I never had a real good feeling about this case, but we are confined by the laws and procedures of our courts and states that often do not let us present the history and background of victims that would possibly create reasonable doubt to a jury. The Truth always exists, but sadly the Truth may not be known until Time and Consciences develop and grow in some humans.

I go with Dixieman's Post and will wait and see what happens.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 03/06/13 - 09:33 pm
5
2
Whatever happened, it didn't

Whatever happened, it didn't merit a life sentence. Too many doubts; too many questions, too many story changes.

Though Dean's lack of character and immoral choices made him unlikeable to many...Better to set a guilty man free, than to imprison an innocent one.

harlemgirl
156
Points
harlemgirl 03/06/13 - 09:34 pm
5
2
AndrewLAfa

Neither girl returned home before recanting. They both voluntarily came forward, THEN were taken back in. Nothing is rotten in Denmark.

Children who have come from the hell they did have no concept of truth and lie, right and wrong, just survival of the fittest. That doesn't excuse their behavior, but does help to understand it.

Maybe one day they will be able to look back and appreciate the gift this family has given them.

GnipGnop
12466
Points
GnipGnop 03/06/13 - 10:28 pm
5
1
I have never understood why the testimony....

of what happened when he was 12 years old was allowed in. He was never charged and let's face it. What teenage boy hasn't done something stupid like that. If he was a child molester he would have a string of victims coming forward. Molesters don't start in their 40's. This case has always struck me as a case of taking down someone who strikes you as arrogant and a pretty boy. 20 years is out of line even if he was guilty. Which I highly doubt...

AndrewLafa
27
Points
AndrewLafa 03/06/13 - 11:13 pm
2
1
Okay Harlemgirl, if you say

Okay Harlemgirl, if you say they recanted and then were taken back in, I'll take your word for it.

But whether the girls recanted before or after they returned home makes no difference. The opportunity to influence these girls even before they arrived back home was there, especially since the other two youngest adopted children are in the Dean home, and I imagine the older daughters would have kept in touch with her siblings. I don't think it's an illogical conclusion to suspect foul play.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 03/07/13 - 12:36 am
4
2
I agree Andrew, it would not

I agree Andrew, it would not be illogical to conclude nor suspect foul play at any point during the entire process. It's all tainted so Scott should get the benefit of the doubt.

myfather15
55764
Points
myfather15 03/07/13 - 06:57 am
3
0
I've got to admit, there is a

I've got to admit, there is a lot of stink coming from both sides of this case. The conviction had plenty of stink and now, so does this "letter". I know Pete Theodocion and over 16 years, I've had several cases against him. He's known by law enforcement officers as the "Drug lawyer" because he represents all the big drug dealers. Yet, I don't think he is just making up a letter; I'm just curious if maybe he is getting douped by the Dean's because YES, this letter is highly suspicious and anyone who doesn't believe so, is probably a bigger Dean fan than common sense fan.

I've known Scott for MANY YEARS; I've ate his fine cooking, had many conversations with him. I liked him very much and was surprised to hear about this case. BUT, I've also been a Deputy for 16 years, so NOTHING and I mean nothing shocks me these days. Just like a good friend of mine David Kitchens being arrested the other day. I couldn't believe he would do something like that, but it didn't shock me. I remember when the Chief of Police in Harlem got arrested for shoplifting, now that may have shocked me a little, knowing him the way I did, I truly couldn't believe he would shoplifting some tarter sauce and jelly or whatever...Really?

kmb413
533
Points
kmb413 03/07/13 - 09:30 am
4
0
in a perfect world

an innocent man would not go to jail and the judge would set up some sort of therapy for the children who accuse the man. This just teaches young girls that they can send a man to jail on accusations. Girls who do this may have emotional turmoil that needs extensive counseling.

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