The trial of former Columbia County Commissioner and accused child molester Scott Dean resumed Tuesday morning, with the victim in the case telling jurors Dean molested her.
Dean, 42, is accused of exposing himself to and inappropriately touching his daughter, one of five children he and his wife adopted from Guatemala in 2008.
That daughter, who has been out of the Dean household and living in foster care since January, testified with the help of a translator that Dean came into her room one night, laid in her bed and touched her private areas.
On another occasion, she testified, Dean approached her in a bathroom, opened the towel he was wearing and told her he wanted to have sex.
The teen is now in counseling and testified that she has never denied the allegations against Dean. In earlier testimony, her older sister, Marlin, said she had lied about such activity while she had run away to Mexico in order to garner sympathy and get money from her family.
The alleged victim, in turn, testified Tuesday that Dean treated Marlin, now 18, like his girlfriend or wife. During cross examination, the victim admitted she didn’t get along with Dean’s wife, Renee, and wanted to run away with her sister.
In opening statements Monday, Assistant District Attorney Parks White said Dean appeared to be an upstanding citizen, but harbored “a dark secret: a lustful disposition for minor girls.”
Pete Theodocion, Dean’s attorney, said the alleged victim grew up in an abusive home and was very close to Marlin.
“They had no secrets with each other,” Theodocion said. “(The alleged victim) never told Marlin Dean, never once, that anything inappropriate happened with Scott Dean.”
Superior Court Judge James G. Blanchard Jr. ruled at that pre-trial hearing that White could present evidence that Dean allegedly committed similar sex acts against underage girls other than his daughters.
A pair of West Virginia twin sisters testified that Dean, then 14, molested them at a pool party and sleepover at their home when they were 12. No charges were filed in those cases.
White also alleged that between January and October of 2010 Dean criminally attempted to commit incest with two of his daughters, one of whom is the victim in the child molestation case. No charges have been filed in connection with those allegations.
Investigators from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and Oglethorpe County Department of Family and Children Services conducted parallel investigations into the accusations against Dean. The DFCS child abuse investigator testified that the victim claims Dean touched her and exposed himself.
Dean was elected to the county commission in 2008 and re-elected in November 2010 despite being accused several months earlier of sending inappropriate text messages to a married county employee.
Following a February indictment on two counts of child molestation, Dean resigned his commission seat. He entered a plea of not guilty to those charges.
Dean has not lived in the family’s home since DFCS temporarily removed the adopted children in October 2010.
A Columbia County grand jury re-indicted Dean on Sept. 28 on the same charges, but adjusted dates and the nature of one of the charges, according to court documents.
The initial indictment states the activity occurred between Sept. 1, 2008, and Sept. 11, 2010. The new indictment extends that period to Oct. 11, 2010. Dean entered another not guilty plea on Oct. 21.