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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
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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soapy_725 03/07/13 - 09:33 am
Was an unsubstantuated statement the only evidence?

What was the EVIDENCE of the crime? What EVIDENCE was presented in open court under oath? Not that an oath means a hill of beans in 2013. Other than he said, she said. We were not in court, but hope to heaven that the accusation of a child does not alone render a guilty plea. Stay out of the courthouse. Stay out of the courthouse. Modern jurors are idiots. They like or don't like. They FEEL the person is innocent. They FEEL they are judging another human being. FACTS have nothing to do with crime or guilt.

Mystic 03/07/13 - 10:50 am
Good Lord

You people have got to be kidding me?
A letter mysteriously pop up a year later?

Willow Bailey
Willow Bailey 03/07/13 - 11:09 am
Where is the mystery?

Where is the mystery?

concercitizen 03/07/13 - 11:13 am
While it may be true that Mr.

While it may be true that Mr. Dean has portrayed a pretty boy image, and his past indiscretions have been verified, deep in my heart I never felt he was guilty of this. Let's hope he is exonerated and allowed to live out the rest of his life in obscurity. As for the adopted girls, they should be returned to foster care, their adoption by the Dean's should be annuled, and either party should be forbidden of having any contact.

InChristLove 03/07/13 - 12:33 pm
Mystic, what mystery?

Mystic, what mystery?

Senario........The daughter has been living with foster care and hopefully getting some intensive counseling. It's possible that through the counseling, she now understands how destructive her false accussations have become and realize she has to correct her mistake. Thereforth, she writes an apologetic letter to her adoptive mother asking for forgiveness, and trying to correct an injustice she has cause. The mother offers love and forgiveness to the child and receives her back into the home in hopes that this situation can be rectified and the family restores to some degree. The mother contact her husband's lawyer with the letter and hopefully offers new hope to free her husband.

Why is this senario so hard to believe and where does the mystery come into play. Even if Scott Dean is exonerated, his life will never be the same, his families life will never be the same. I understand that the Deans love these children but IMO, the two oldest girls are of age and althought they will always be the Dean's daughters and part of the family, they should never live under the same roof as Scott Dean. Help them rent an apartment or whatever it takes but for Scott's protection, have them live separately.

harlemgirl 03/07/13 - 01:51 pm

I think you are a very smart person.

David Parker
David Parker 03/07/13 - 04:54 pm
If I didn't see it, I can't

If I didn't see it, I can't confirm it happened. Conversely, if I didn't see it, I can't confirm it didn't happen.

This is why there is a system of due process, b/c more often than not, cases are not cut-n-dry. I figured him guilty, but if yall feel the girl lied and was not being truthful but now is being truthful by saying she was lying, I've no issue with trying him again. Perhaps the truth will come out, perhaps it already did, again due process.

Willow Bailey
Willow Bailey 03/07/13 - 05:23 pm
No friend of his

No friend of his, but I lost respect for the trial process for several reasons:

1) The two women from his boyhood who were allowed to give testimony. Probably not a male alive that hasn't lived out something that some girl now regrets. Should we lock them all up?

2) The changing stories of the daughters. How can you believe them?

3) The refusal to allow the daughters history into court although it proved a track record of lying and manipulation.

4) Allowing Dean's adulterous behavior to be used against him.

5) His sentence was the biggest injustice of them all. We live in a society where you can kill a person and get less time than being accused of sexual impropriety.

He needs a new trial in a new town.

Lakeside95 03/16/13 - 10:34 pm

After reading your comments on this article and the Letters to the Editor, I wonder....what did Scott Dean do to you?
You repeatedly say that you do not know him, yet you know of immoral behavior he has been involved in.

This seems very suspicious. Maybe you were on the wrong side of a City Council vote? Maybe as Mayor, Dean didn't cut a tree down for you? Or maybe as a Commissioner, Dean didn't bring water down your road? It would serve you and the reader well to be open about your dislike for Dean. At least then your comments could be read in the spirit that you intended.

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