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Scott Dean's daughter recants sex allegation on witness stand

Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 7:40 PM
Last updated Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013 5:55 PM
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Scott Dean’s 19-year-old adopted daughter declared Friday during a court hearing that her allegations of child molestation against him were false.

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Former Columbia County Commissioner Scott Dean smiles at his family as he enters the courtroom for a hearing before Judge Jim Blanchard requesting a retrial. Dean was convicted of child molestation of his adopted daughter but she later told a DFACS worker that she lied about her accusations and sent a letter to Scott Dean's attorney stating that she lied.  JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
Former Columbia County Commissioner Scott Dean smiles at his family as he enters the courtroom for a hearing before Judge Jim Blanchard requesting a retrial. Dean was convicted of child molestation of his adopted daughter but she later told a DFACS worker that she lied about her accusations and sent a letter to Scott Dean's attorney stating that she lied.


“It was a lie,” Silda Dean said from the stand. “I feel sad. Sometimes I feel bad, too, because he’s innocent.”

The former Columbia County commissioner was accused in October 2010 of inappropriately touching Silda Dean. She said he climbed into her bed and inappropriately touched her on one occasion and exposed himself and propositioned her on another.

He was indicted on two counts of child molestation and convicted in December 2011 and sentenced to 20 years in prison. He’s currently being held in Georgia State Prison in Reidsville, Ga.

On Friday, he was in Evans, petitioning for a new trial.

Superior Court Judge James G. Blanchard Jr. agreed to take the request under consideration. He’s expected to make a decision as early as a few weeks.

Silda Dean, who was removed from the Dean home and moved into a foster home in late 2010, said she made the allegations because she didn’t like Dean’s wife, Renee. The Deans adopted Silda and her four siblings from Guatemala in September 2008.

Silda Dean told a state Department of Family and Children Services social worker in July 2012 that the allegations were a lie. That social worker testified Friday that she told her supervisor and the issue was discussed with local and state DFCS legal counsels. Nothing was ever done with the information.

“The fact that this information would just be held down is astounding,” Scott Dean’s attorney, Pete Theodocion said.

In January, Silda Dean told Renee Dean that she had made up the allegations. Then she wrote a letter to her adoptive mother and to Theodocion in February, explaining that her previous testimony was a lie and that Dean was not guilty of the charges.

“It was hard for me to say something that wasn’t true,” Silda Dean testified. “I got confused and I didn’t know what to do.”

Blanchard denied a motion for a new trial June 2012 and the Georgia Court of Appeals upheld that decision in May.

“We know it is not easy to come in and get a new trial after the fact,” Theodocion said. “This was not a fair trial. ... It is very rare that we have the opportunity to right a wrong like this.

“A jury has the right to know. A jury has the right to know the full story.”

Theodocion said the request for a new trial meets the six requirements to have one granted based on new evidence.

Assistant District Attorney Madonna Little argued and cited case law that a victim’s recantation is not cause for a new trial. And any new evidence coming forward cannot be to impeach a witness post-trial.

Dean’s wife said she’s not happy with the result of the hearing, but that she’s proud of her daughter who “held her head high and told the truth.”

“Of course, we’re disappointed it wasn’t an immediate exoneration,” Renee Dean said. “But it’s hopeful.”

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mll
702
Points
mll 10/04/13 - 08:53 pm
11
1
Scott Dean hearing-the most significant thing we learned today

Besides Silda Dean recanting her previous testimony & admitting to lying about her adoptive father was that she told DFACS in July 2012 that she had lied. July 2012! The DFACS worker Brenda Neal that testified this afternoon said she told her supervisor who then reported it to the DFACS attorney. Then the home office of DFACS of Georgia in Atlanta was informed that the victim had recanted. Now keep in mind this was July of 2012. After this the information became lost, buried. REALLY? Then fast forward seven months to February of 2013. Silda Dean wrote several letters recanting her testimony & charges. Two of these letters were received by 1.( Renee Dean-wife of Scott Dean) & 2. Pete Theodocion (Scott Dean's attorney) It did not come out in the testimony where else these letters were sent. I can imagine where they were sent but without facts I cannot say. Silda Dean instructed Mrs. Pough (her foster mother) to mail these letters & Mrs. Pough addressed & mailed the letters. After receiving the letter Mr. Theodocion starting filing the necessary paperwork to secure the hearing that was this afternoon. When filing for this hearing I would suspect that the Ashley Wright's office was informed however the attorney who represents that office informed the court today that she had just received the notice about the hearing this morning so she was somewhat at a disadvantage. REALLY? The office that worked so hard to put Scott Dean into prison was unaware of today's scheduled hearing? The paperwork for this hearing was filed in August of 2013 so it is very strange to me that Ashley Wright's office claimed ignorance of this. More inconvenient misinformation? From the improper investigation of this in the beginning, the makeup of the grand jury that indicted Scott Dean to today's hearing it has been a county & state accumulation of errors & oversights. But Scott Dean still went to prison. I find this totally disgusting & very questionable on the parts of all officials involved from the county sheriff to the DFACS office, to the office of the District Attorney. Does anyone think we are to accept what they have done to this man & his family. I'd say at this point a full investigation into the whole case needs to be done. First & foremost Scott Dean needs to be out of prison & at least home on bail. The constant danger to this man in prison should not be overlooked & it would be too convenient for an accident to happen after learning of the DFACS huge misconduct.

mll
702
Points
mll 10/04/13 - 08:22 pm
11
1
Columbia County & the damage it has inflicted

As a professional I have known many of these people through my work however I assumed as professionals they also adhered to professional ethics & did not break the laws of objectivity & distance themselves when necessary. I know that in my field certain people & companies will stretch those ethical boundaries to fit their own agendas but I always thought & hoped that those individuals in law especially within the judicial community adhered to their standards beyond those of other professional fields. To find out there appears to be no boundaries in regard to ethics is horrific. I am not naive by any means. I know corruption exists but to the level it appears to exist within Columbia County is extraordinary. I feel despair for the people affected but also feel tremendous anger for those that have inflicted this injustice on these individuals. When our laws, ethics & morals are set aside for personal gain we become no better than animals or like third world countries that are run by a grease your palm sort of justice, in other word no justice at all.
Within our system of justice there also should be stringent controls in any area which has to do with children. We are there to protect them yet not to cross the line of parental rights. Parents while not always perfect have rights too & destroying the family unit does not help the children. As in the Dean case, accusations without evidence destroyed that family unit, caused tremendous financial hardships on extended family & friends not to mention the immediate family. A trumped up charge to protect one child completely destroyed the lives of 6 other children & several adults as well as Mr. Dean. Even if proven not guilty at this point, Dean’s life is destroyed, his career, his ability to provide for himself & his family is gone. I’m sure he will never recover from the horrors of prison life & this will affect his children & family for years if not forever. To know that the goal within our system was NOT to protect a child but the goal was to destroy a man who undoubtedly stepped on some political foes agenda is horrific & inexcusable. Several of his friends abandoned him & the family & chose to support those who put him into this horrible circumstance. I have nothing but disgust for those people & they know who they are. All I can say at this point is that God perhaps will have mercy for those people, I will not.

nocnoc
45433
Points
nocnoc 10/04/13 - 09:10 pm
8
2
A popular bumper sticker in Metro-Atlanta

DFACS
kills more kids that parents.

DFACS has long had too many Over the top Agressive Child Rights Activists in their mists with several cases of proven axe grinding. DFACS also has had more than its share of accidental oversights, and believe it or not they have lost kids in the system and the kids case investigative records.

IF Mr. Dean gets a retrial and IF he is found innocent, I would hope the DFACS staff & former Staff involved are investigated and some house cleaning is done including JAIL TIME handed down if any deliberate abuses are found.

Because Even IF Mr. Dean is found innocent,
his political career is ashes,
any business career he had is down the drain,
Years have been taken from his life,
and his life will be forever be over shadowed by this mess because there will always be those that doubt any outcome.

Of course there always the possibility
this is an elaborate effort to vindicate him and the brat is getting something in return.

just an opinion
2729
Points
just an opinion 10/04/13 - 09:41 pm
13
1
Set the man free

Uhhh, I think there's enough reasonable doubt here. The girl said she lied. What if this was your loved one locked up for this?

466
Points
Lakeside95 10/04/13 - 09:47 pm
11
2
nocnoc

There is always the possibility that many people involved in this case are brats. For example the DFACS case worker who was told July 2012 that the 'victim' wasn't a victim yet did nothing. There was the DFACS supervisor who was told of the false accusation, yet did nothing. There is the DFACS attorney who was told of the lie, yet did nothing.
Wouldn't you say these officers of the court, these experts that are relied upon for thier expert witness, wouldn't you say they were more 'bratty' than the child who has tried to tell the truth for almost 2 years yet no one listened?
I hope that Judge Blanchard can see the need for a new trial. More importantly I hope he and others see the need for DFACS reform.
As I have maintained for over 3 years, Scott Dean is innocent of these charges. Its time to bring him home.

GnipGnop
12531
Points
GnipGnop 10/04/13 - 10:29 pm
10
1
I would add one more thing to this....

Why was testimony allowed from something that happened when Dean was 14...what 14 year old boy hasn't tried to cop a feel. This was tainted testimony and should have never been allowed. This case was a set-up from the get go. On Dean's part his smugness and pretty boy attitude was the final nail in his coffin...but no matter what if the man is innocent he should be out! Also, someone in the system should lose their jobs and it may even be several people. once again a government entity that doesn't do it's job and suffers no consequences...still want these people running your healthcare????

mll
702
Points
mll 10/04/13 - 11:13 pm
11
2
nocnoc

I believe if there has been any "elaborate effort" made it was done by the DFACS people in order to keep the new information hidden. Or there could have been "elaborate effort" by Ashley Wrights office & Judge Blanchard to conceal facts in the case that were never allowed within the courtroom during the original trial. There also was "elaborate effort" by those in media locally to sully Mr. Dean's name prior to the trial by repeating over & over that he had an improper relationship with a county employee. As most statistics show, men that prey on children do not have normal relationships with grown up women. Most statistics also show that in almost all cases most abusers have more than one victim which is proven by all the ones that pour out of the woodwork in all the cases we read about. So your implication that the new evidence may be an "elaborate effort to vindicate him" & the "brat is getting something in return" reeks of the same one sided opinion that caused the jury to believe if he was guilty of one thing (improper relationship with a county employee) then he must be guilty of child abuse. The same logic leads me to believe that since you referred to Silda Dean as a brat without knowing her & having any concrete & factual knowledge about her, that you are an ignorant, judgmental person that needs to tear others down to build up your own self esteem. That to me seems like an "elaborate" method of self vindication & selfish disregard & disrespect for others.

466
Points
Lakeside95 10/04/13 - 10:40 pm
6
1
Smug/Arrogant/etc.

At what point is being an arrogant [filtered word] a crime? If it is one...someone call Sheriff Whittle, there is a massive crime committed every afternoon from 3-6 on WGAC.

I guess if Scott were short, dumpy, bald and quiet the allegations would have had no merit and no case would have been investigated?

We should all hope that the people on this forum never serve on a jury, outward appearance is entirely too big a component in guilt or innocence.

csrareader
1287
Points
csrareader 10/04/13 - 10:41 pm
10
1
Shameful behavior by DFACS

Shameful behavior by DFACS and District Attorney's Office, IMO. Sounds to me like this man needs to be freed tomorrow.

mll
702
Points
mll 10/04/13 - 11:16 pm
9
1
csrareader

Yes, it was shameful behavior by DFACS, the District Attorney's office & the Judge in attendance. To allow undocumented hearsay from the two women in West Virginia who related an incident from almost 30 yrs ago yet would not allow adoption records from Guatamala on the children that were pertinent to the case shows callous disregard for the truth & an agenda that would not bear public scrutiny nor did it demonstrate proper judicial protocol. It was a witch hunt clearly & it worked. We can only hope that some of this can be fixed but the long term damage has been accomplished & cannot be remedied.

KSL
135554
Points
KSL 10/05/13 - 12:16 am
2
2
Lakeide95

Do I remember you fron the articles on the Lakeside Coach in
the late 2000's?

mll
702
Points
mll 10/05/13 - 12:57 am
5
1
A damning conclusion?

The more that I review & think about the series of events regarding the Scott Dean investigation & trial & conclusion, the more disturbed I get. When you add up all of the errors, the innuendos, what evidence was allowed, what was not, then the behavior and errors of DFACS, which by the way was McDuffie County DFACS not Columbia county because as a commissioner Dean was in charge of regulating the DFACS budget so proper protocol was to not have the investigation done by Columbia count DFACS. I am coming to a point in which I am wondering if there was collusion between all of these entities in our local government. I was led to believe that the proper investigation should have been done by the GBI since Scott Dean was an elected official. In a recent investigation in Richmond County the GBI was pulled in to investigate Commissioner Alvin Mason over spousal abuse. That was done to insure a clean investigation, one that could not be tainted by local law enforcement since it was an elected official. Due to the DFACS change-McDuffie over Columbia county- why was that not done in Dean's case? Learning of the DFACS screw-up I'm having a hard time believing that McDuffie county failed to inform Columbia county DFACS, the sheriff's department, the court or anyone. Rather than first informing the DFACS home office in Atlanta, wouldn't it have made sense to first inform Columbia county DFACS or the court since Atlanta would not have had first hand knowledge of the case? So I am having a hard time digesting that Atlanta was told & no entity in Columbia county was. Speculating whether the Columbia county entities were informed, my guess is that they were. Then the next possible jump would be is that this information was purposely swept under the rug. I admit this is conjecture but none of it makes sense without these speculations. So that would mean a very large & convoluted cover-up. Remembering back during the trial & the amount of the defense evidence that was not allowed yet watching the incredible undocumented evidence of the prosecutor's office leads me to believe that there is ample reason for a layman such as myself to speculate there was collusion between the divisions of Columbia County to insure a conviction & to make sure that Dean stayed in prison. The length of sentence 20 in prison, 20 additional years of probation was also excessive compared to similar but worse cases before & after Dean's conviction. All of the above, when placed side by side gives me ample reason to suspect collusion between various departments or persons. Nothing else make sense.

Young Fred
18262
Points
Young Fred 10/05/13 - 01:54 am
6
1
I for one am sick and tired

I for one am sick and tired of bureaucrats getting away with what seems malfeasance. Regardless of the man's guilt or innocence, these people had a duty. It is not their gall-darn place to determine guilt or innocence, it is their place to report any information that may have a bearing.

Exactly how long do you believe people that have regular jobs are going to turn a blind eye to gov't workers that fail miserably?

I've got news for you. That blind eye turning is getting old!

If the man is guilty, I say 20 years is not enough, if he's innocent, then some “peeps” In the system need to pay a price. If his guilt or innocence is never actually proven, then some in the system still need to pay a price.

Riverman1
87507
Points
Riverman1 10/05/13 - 04:18 am
4
1
Another Point

I'll point out a certain percentage of victims do falsely recant their testimony for various reasons. Pressures of various kinds can be brought on the victims and those who work with these people understand that. But after pointing this out, I'd have no problem with Dean being released. I was probably his biggest critic concerning other matters, but I thought his sentence was extremely harsh and he has already spent a good while in prison. From the previous court testimony no actual sexual acts took place. There was no penetration.

Twenty years is too much. That kind of penalty should be reserved for rapists or horrific child sexual abusers. The victim now says nothing happened and doesn't appear to have suffered damage whatever the case. She is obviously still involved with the family.

I have no criticism of the Columbia County Sheriff's Office, DFACS, District Attorney or the judicial system. They did their jobs with concern and caution for all concerned. They knew this case would be in the news for a long time.

The bottom line is if the girl, who is now an adult, is okay with Dean being released and he has already been in prison for about two years this thing should come to an end with him being released. Why even have another trial?

466
Points
Lakeside95 10/05/13 - 04:31 am
4
1
Reasonable Doubt

In courtrooms across America and right here at home there is a dangerous phenomenon occuring. Jurors do not understand the meaning of reasonable doubt. Yet it isn't the fault of the juror or even the court system.
The fault lies with the media. How is any person to expect a fair, unbiased jury when the media tries the case in public before the criminal trial ever begins?
There must be a line drawn separating newsworthy and tabloid journalism.
Scott was indicted, tried and convicted of many crimes before the first statement was made in Judge Blanchard's court. How could anyone defend themselves from anonymously written comments, sordid innuendos and blatantly false information printed and uploaded for all the world to see? No lawyer can defend a client who has already been found guilty.
The eyes and ears of Columbia County have now been opened. Today in court we learned of the ineptitude and possibly even criminal actions that were committed by McDuffie County DFACS. Now that it has been entered into the official court record that knowledge of the recanted statement from the victim was held for at least 18 months; we can and must act. This case is now bigger than one man wrongly convicted. This case is about the sanctity of the Justice system and the safety of the citizens of the Augusta area. Now we can all see clearly that no one is safe from this type of persecution. As a group we must demand a new trial. One that will be based on facts not rumor and personal vendettas.

Young Fred
18262
Points
Young Fred 10/05/13 - 04:40 am
4
0
Well...

I sill don't know the right or wrong of this case.

But to say DFACS didn't do wrong is a stretch!

I understand how "tough" their job is. But that's their job.

There is no, not none, excuse for holding back.

Somebody within the "bureau" decided to hold back.

Now, it may have been justified, I just don't know.

But the mere thought of these people making life altering decisions chills me to the bone!

Young Fred
18262
Points
Young Fred 10/05/13 - 05:38 am
3
0
What? I have to ask.. Some

What? I have to ask..

Some are reading this and thinking...

...."You don't know"
..."We've been trained"
...how dare you question, us, the experts?"
...

Stunned 2
5163
Points
Stunned 2 10/05/13 - 08:58 am
3
1
Just an outsider, but I really doubted this man's guilt

Just an outsider, but I really doubted this man's guilt when I followed the story & trial unfolding. I think that child molesters are as dangerous as serial killers, serial rapists and mutilators, and should be executed. Victims suppress memories and deny, lie and will even try to protect their abuser at times. The truth in trials, evidence and testimony is usually hidden deeply between the rabid abuser and his wounded victim. But, Many of us keeping up with this trial have wondered if an innocent man was convicted. The State's Attorney General's Office should handle any retrial - if Political sabotage is suspected. I'll pray for justice- which ever way it falls

Truth Matters
7292
Points
Truth Matters 10/05/13 - 06:41 am
2
1
The question is often asked,

The question is often asked, "Where can one go to get back a good name?"

I wish I could say that I have or ever had unbridled confidence in the criminal justice system.

If Mr. Dean gets a new trial he will be blessed, indeed. Some have been put to death in murder trials when a key witness recanted. This says to me we should look long and hard on how to proceed in cases of key witness recantation to ensure that justice is truly served for the accused.

Graymare
3406
Points
Graymare 10/05/13 - 06:59 am
4
1
It happens all the time.

This happens more than folks realize. Some authorities go on a witch hunt and will do anything to convict, especially when an election is coming up. I've heard of a hung jury and the judge ordered them "not to come back until they have a guilty verdict". The "victim" confessed and decades later, nothing was done to this day. Nothing. In the meantime, the real abuser did it again and was convicted. Had the truth been told, another child would have been saved and an innocent man would have not had his life ruined.

nocnoc
45433
Points
nocnoc 10/05/13 - 07:55 am
5
0
I have read many of the DFACS comments

posted up to this point. I myself have called DFACS on an obvious problem. (a 2 & 4 year ago wondering the streets at 10+pm and knocking on doors. The female birther was on a date).

So I started brushing up on DFACS operational guidelines and started reading lawyer and LEO blogz and similar comments of professional's that come in contact with DFACS activities.

Here is one such LEO posted comment.
ok guys, I need to vent. As some of you know, I am a LEO. for the most part, I love my job. There are, of course, days when that's not the case. Yesterday was one of those days. I am talking about dealing with DFACS. I knew these guys had too much power, but for some reason, I never took the time to see just how much power they have.

Did you know that anyone can make an ANONYMOUS complaint against you, me, anyone? Did you also know that DFACS can then enter your home, look through your fridge, cupboards, through your whole house without any kind of warrant? They can then demand that you submit to a drug screen?!?!

I had to be there while a DFACS worker did this to a guy. The complaint they had was without merit, the kids were fine, everything was good.

On our way out, I asked the DFACS worker what would have happened if the family had refused the drug screen, or refused to even let us in the house without some kind of warrant. Her response???? "We'll just take the kids if that's the case. A refusal to submit to drug screening is considered to be a POSITIVE drug screen."

At this point I just walked away and asked my supervisor not to involve me in these types of calls as I could not be party to such violations...

When asking questions, I was told "just do what they want you to do, they will make your life hell if you "buck" them."

It is important to also remember
We the citizens, demanded the State protect defenseless children.

So the State setup the DFACS agency with good intentions.
As with any Government agency, unless the scope of power is clearly defined, it will be abused.

We, as citizens/voters, need to ensure any Government agency is functional and has the ability to conduct its stated mission in a constitutional manner. But, We, as citizens/voters, also need to ensure there is well defined legal line that allows for the protection of the children from abuse and does not violate parental rights and controls at the whim of the occasional over reaching over the top advocate / Bureaucrat.

I would dare say there is wide ranging standard that DFACS uses based on: the social setting, income, type of charge, general economics, living conditions and a number of other criteria.

Otherwise dozens of poverty level children would be grabbed by DFACS daily. Example: Cherry Tree, Barton Village, (drugs, unstable home environment, below poverty income.)

freeradical
1102
Points
freeradical 10/05/13 - 08:15 am
4
1
Evidence Burying Cretins

They ought to throw a net over the whole collection of evidence burying

Cretins .

soapy_725
43817
Points
soapy_725 10/05/13 - 08:20 am
1
0
Which time did she lie? No one is asking that question? She is
Unpublished

proven habitual liar. She has been pressured by the Dean family to recant. Which lie do you believe? Which lie should the judge believe?

soapy_725
43817
Points
soapy_725 10/05/13 - 08:22 am
1
0
A CC jury found him guilty on her words alone? The problem is
Unpublished

then the jury. No other evidence. Sick. She lied about a man they said was her savior. Why didn't she lie about Mrs. Dean who she disliked.

soapy_725
43817
Points
soapy_725 10/05/13 - 08:23 am
1
0
The CC jury must have seen or heard something more in court.
Unpublished

Otherwise we all need to ask for a change of venue.

soapy_725
43817
Points
soapy_725 10/05/13 - 08:23 am
1
0
The new rules on jury selection must be flawed in CC.
Unpublished

The new rules on jury selection must be flawed in CC.

soapy_725
43817
Points
soapy_725 10/05/13 - 08:25 am
1
0
Hearsay. Off with his head. CC the beautiful.
Unpublished

Hearsay, hearsay. Off with his head. America the beautiful.

soapy_725
43817
Points
soapy_725 10/05/13 - 08:27 am
1
0
Next Dean will have his Superman shirt & be on a CC cellphone
Unpublished

Look out ladies with husbands deployed in the military.

soapy_725
43817
Points
soapy_725 10/05/13 - 08:31 am
1
0
She lied about her savior because she disliked his wife. Hmmmm
Unpublished

That's what DFACS had to deal with. You asked for help. Then you lie. Then you lie again. What is the process.

soapy_725
43817
Points
soapy_725 10/05/13 - 08:33 am
0
0
She didn't understand international law. Then CC law. Hmmmm
Unpublished

She didn't understand international law. Then CC law. Hmmmm

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