The Georgia Court of Appeals rejected former Harlem Mayor Scott Dean’s contention that he was unfairly tried and convicted of child molestation in Columbia County in 2011.
In an order released Tuesday, the appellate court denied Dean’s appeal.
Dean, also a former Columbia County commissioner, was convicted by a Superior Court jury. Judge James G. Blanchard Jr. sentenced him to 20 years in prison, followed by 20 years’ probation.
Dean’s supporters’ contention that the victim has recanted her accusations was not brought up.
The court rejected Dean’s claim that the jury should never have heard evidence of similar acts in the case. The victim and her sister testified that Dean had also had inappropriate contact with the girls, and a fellow church member testified the girls told her of Dean’s inappropriate visits to the girls’ rooms after the rest of the household was asleep.
The court further found that it was permissible for the prosecution to also bring in evidence that Dean had committed similar acts in 1984 when he was 14 years old.
The court also dismissed Dean’s claim that it was error that the trial judge would not allow the defense to present evidence that the girl had previously made a false allegation against someone. The appellate court said that the girl was 8 years old when she said her biological father had committed murder.