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Georgia Court of Appeals upholds Scott Dean conviction

Wednesday, May 8, 2013 11:29 AM
Last updated Thursday, May 9, 2013 12:59 AM
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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.

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younameit
188
Points
younameit 05/08/13 - 02:40 pm
2
1
A Fine Judge

It takes courage and skill to rebuff the whimsical "court of public opinion" and administer justice in accordance with the law. Judge Blanchard has served proud the people who think our constitution is still relevant.

rocketserve
280
Points
rocketserve 05/08/13 - 03:33 pm
2
0
Here here younameit
Unpublished

You hit it on the head. Now Dean's die hard supporters and political buddies will come out of the woodwork to say this is a travesty of justice and that these girls were all lying. But wait, didn't his wife call the girl a liar during the trial and NOW is letting the girl live back in the house after this letter with the recanted accusation supposedly surfaced...

Young Fred
16807
Points
Young Fred 05/09/13 - 01:18 am
1
0
I'm not familiar with all the

I'm not familiar with all the facts of this case. I am curious about the allowing of this “evidence”:

“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.”

What exactly were the “similar” acts?

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 05/09/13 - 08:10 am
1
0
I believe it was a situation

I believe it was a situation of a minor (Dean) sexually exploiting another minor, but that is from my memory so take it with a grain of salt.

rocketserve
280
Points
rocketserve 05/09/13 - 09:20 am
1
0
Prior case/similar acts
Unpublished

"According to the Notice of Similar Transaction filed Monday at the Columbia County Clerk of Court office, prosecutors intend to present evidence that in June 1984, Dean, then 14, molested two girls in West Milford, W.Va. Neither case was prosecuted."

I personally think these are very different in circumstance and intent. He was 14 and they were 12 year old twins and we never heard the details of the case. I never heard anything about it when I was in high school with him so I don't know why it would come up in the case. It was probably just a overly hormonal guy trying to test his boundaries with a couple of 12 year old's who probably thought he was a cool older guy from another state. If this is the case, there are probably hundreds of thousands boys who could be brought up in something like this. If we have learned nothing else from the trial as well as his political career, Scott is a very smooth character and can be charming. The evidence in THIS case should have focused on him and his adopted kids, which was obviously enough to convict.

mll
638
Points
mll 05/09/13 - 11:04 am
2
0
The "similar act" that was allowed

in the Scott Dean case was the story by two W Virginia women who said Dean had molested them at a slumber party at their home. The police were not involved, no charges were filed, it was a circumstance of two women saying that when they were children Dean did this or that. No evidence, no arrest, no report from law enforcement, nothing documented. They heard of the Georgia case against Dean through an un-named source and decided to add their story. The prosecution was eager to add it to the mix. This prior incident was not documented by authorities, just retold by the women, no evidence, nothing but their word.
Inside opinion is that this incident should never have been allowed however the appeal judges were eager to allow it as it will set a precedent for the law to allow other "similar transactions" to be used against sex offenders in future court proceedings. This will allow a prosecutor to use any related incidents into a court setting if it shows an individual had a prior history of similar actions even it they are NOT documented by an arrest or documented complaint. That is a very serious opinion which could have tremendous effect on our courts. If a man or woman is arrested for a sex related crime today, the prosecution would be able to use any information related by an individual whether documented or not against that person. The information could just be their opinion about the individual, would not have to be documented by law enforcement, nothing officially reported at the time, nothing but one person's word on a related incident. So men pay attention-if you were too pushy as a sixteen year old boy and you tried to take advantage of a girl on a date, this could be brought up in court when you're forty and used as a "similar transaction" to prove that you were a sex pervert. Just this girl's word against yours, no proof whatsoever.
Seems like the Dean case is boosting careers for people all over Georgia.

mll
638
Points
mll 05/09/13 - 12:22 pm
1
0
The letter

from the victim recanting the accusations was not included in the appeal as the appeal was filed last fall in either September or October. It could not be added to the appeal therefore was not considered by the court of appeals.

harlemgirl
156
Points
harlemgirl 05/09/13 - 01:02 pm
1
0
Time to release him

Now that waiting on the appeal is over, I hope people get to see the letter and hear from this girl that lied. No man needs to rot in jail because of a careless teenager!

harlemgirl
156
Points
harlemgirl 05/09/13 - 01:02 pm
1
0
Time to release him

Now that waiting on the appeal is over, I hope people get to see the letter and hear from this girl that lied. No man needs to rot in jail because of a careless teenager!

mll
638
Points
mll 05/09/13 - 01:15 pm
1
0
also re W Virginia women

The two West Virginia women were sisters. They both "recalled" this information after hearing of the Dean arrest. Scott Dean's parents lived in the same town when he was young. In my opinion both women were hoping for some financial compensation for their "alleged torment".

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 05/09/13 - 01:20 pm
0
1
Just want to point out that

Just want to point out that the testimony included first-hand knowledge and absolutely should be allowed in a court of law. If you remove that, you have little left to prosecute with for any crimes. Not sure how we got to this point though. Those twins' accounts of the event were simply testimony. It wasn't the State trying to prosecute someone after 40 years, it was testimony. Why, by default, be convinced that 2 people who have nothing to do directly with the current situation would perjure themselves over something that occurred 40 years prior?

mll
638
Points
mll 05/09/13 - 01:20 pm
2
0
In the same trial

that the UNDOCUMENTED West Virginia testimony was allowed, DOCUMENTED testimony from the adoption records of the Dean's children against their biological father was not allowed.

mll
638
Points
mll 05/09/13 - 01:40 pm
1
0
re the W.Virginia

ladies that testified. If their childhood experience involving Dean was so bad why weren't the authorities contacted then? How can something totally undocumented be used as testimony? It was never proven to be true. If that is allowed then are you saying all testimony from anyone who comes in contact with you 40 yrs ago is telling the truth and must be accepted as truth? I'd say if that were true we're all in trouble.

Riverman1
82448
Points
Riverman1 05/09/13 - 04:03 pm
0
0
It appears the comments and

It appears the comments and interest in this case have about died out.

mll
638
Points
mll 05/09/13 - 09:30 pm
0
0
Riverman

Actually it appears when unbiased facts are presented, no one has any additional snarky comments. I believe there is still quite a bit of interest in the case however people are learning about political power and how impotent the average person is against that power. It's very disturbing that justice isn't as blind as we were all taught when young. Everyone has an agenda and if it doesn't fit no biggie. Right?

Riverman1
82448
Points
Riverman1 05/10/13 - 04:54 am
0
0
Mil said, "In my opinion both

Mil said, "In my opinion both women were hoping for some financial compensation for their "alleged torment"."

I didn't know they had even mentioned money to anyone?

harlemgirl
156
Points
harlemgirl 05/10/13 - 08:52 am
0
0
Rocketserve

when did the mom testify? never heard that before

and yes, why not keep the girl at home so she can fix what she started?

checkitout
7
Points
checkitout 11/08/13 - 04:33 pm
0
0
Really

You know if a man walks through his home with a towel around and one of his kids see's him that that is child abuse, ok my parents and everyone else should be charged. Ok so when I was 12 a boy kissed me and I didnt like it, so 40 years later I can tell it, a child can lie about something and dad goes to jail and when the child see's what they did and tells the truth it doesnt mean anything. this sounds like this man was railroaded right to the jailhouse. this whole case stinks right from the start. DFACS didnt do there job, the Sheriff's office didnt do there job other that help railroad Mr Dean. They need someone that isnt close to this case to sit down read and watch the video of this case than decide. They need to free a man that didn't do anything wrong!!!!! other than step on toes with the county.

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