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Dean sentenced for child molestation

Posted: January 29, 2012 - 12:07am
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Photo by Jim Blaylock   Former Harlem Mayor and Columbia County Commissioner Scott Dean enters the courtroom Friday. Judge Jim Blanchard sentenced Dean to 20 years in prison.   JIM BLAYLOCK
JIM BLAYLOCK
Photo by Jim Blaylock Former Harlem Mayor and Columbia County Commissioner Scott Dean enters the courtroom Friday. Judge Jim Blanchard sentenced Dean to 20 years in prison.

A former Columbia County commissioner convicted of child molestation was sentenced to prison Friday morning.

Superior Court Judge James G. Blanchard Jr. ordered Scott Dean to serve 20 years in prison followed by 20 years of probation during a sentencing hearing in Evans.

“In my mind, he should be treated no differently than anyone else convicted of a similar crime,” Blanchard said.

A jury convicted Dean, 42, on Dec. 16 of two counts of child molestation. Each count carried a state-mandated sentence of five to 20 years.

Dean’s attorney, Pete Theodocion, argued during the hearing that as a first offender Dean should have received a lighter sentence. Based on guidelines from the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, Dean won’t be eligible for parole for 18 years.

After sentencing, Dean was returned to the Columbia County Detention Center where he had been held since his conviction.

The Columbia County jury found Dean guilty of exposing himself to and inappropriately touching his daughter, one of five children Dean and his wife adopted from Guatemala in 2008. The girl, now 17, claimed he came into her room at night and touched her.

Dean denied the charges when he testified at the trial.

He served on the Harlem City Council and more than five years as the city’s mayor before winning a seat to the county commission in July 2008.

Dean won the July 2010 Republican primary in the District 4 commission race despite being accused several weeks earlier of exchanging inappropriate text messages with a married county employee. He then ran unopposed in the November 2010 general election.

He resigned from the commission in February when he was indicted on the child molestation charges.

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Comments (5)

Craig Spinks

The Scott Dean Mess

His Mama, Miss Rikki, and his Dad are also victims of Scott Dean's crimes. This hard-working, God-fearing couple deserve better than the heartache that their son's criminal actions have brought upon them and the rest of the Dean family.

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence

mll

Dean case

The trouble with what Judge Blanchard said at the sentencing hearing & the newspaper did not quote was what was said prior to "In my mind he should be treated no differently than anyone else convicted of a similar crime." What preceded this statement was paraphrased as "this crime is very egregious akin to treason, murder, rape, sodomy." Really? The alleged crime of exposure & touching is similar to treason, murder, rape, sodomy? With all of recent trials in Columbia/Richmond County it would seem that all of the other judges are way lenient in their sentencing. If Judge Blanchard really thinks that Dean committed a crime akin to treason or murder, then I would assume that the sentence would be either death by firing squad or by hanging. I hardly think that the sentence of 20 years given for a "first offender" was anywhere reasonable. It appears to me that there is a whole lot of missing information about this one. I can only conclude that Mr. Dean really overstepped his "political place" in this area and the establishment was over eager to put him in his place.

Craig Spinks

(M)il

Sentencing a 42-year-old under the "First Offender" law was unreasonable. But sentencing the convicted child molester to a prison term of 20 years was not.

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence

mll

Dean case

Sentencing anyone regardless of age to 20 years based on the testimony of he said/she said without any other tangible physical evidence is an abomination especially considering the testimony of the accuser was contradicted in court by the accuser. Testimony that was contradicted by two other individuals and the accused. I would figure 3 testimonies against 1 would prevail. Apparently not.

mll

Dean's parents

In regard to Dean's parents they do not believe their son is guilty of anything therefore their heartache is most likely caused by the treachery of the accuser and the resulting actions of a court and county that was short on fair and unbiased opinion and long on political payback. They are also likely upset that their son was convicted by public opinion displayed in this very newspaper before the trial ever began. From the media onslaught to the opinionated posters the jury had no chance of forming a unbiased opinion.

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