More than a year after former Columbia County Commissioner Scott Dean's daughter testified that he molested her, she wrote a letter to his wife recanting her story.
Scott Dean was convicted of two counts of child molestation in December 2011. He's currently serving his 20-year prison sentence at Georgia State Prison in Reidsville, Ga.
He was accused of exposing himself to and inappropriately touching his teenage daughter, then 15. She is one of five children Scott Dean and his wife, Renee, adopted from Guatemala in 2008. The girl claimed Scott Dean entered her room at night and touched her. He denied the charges when he testified at the trial.
Renee Dean said she received a letter in mid-February from the now 18-year-old girl, who was living in foster care, recanting the allegations she made against Scott Dean. A copy of the letter also was sent to Scott Dean's attorney, Pete Theodocion.
"It says that he is completely innocent and that he never touched her," Renee Dean said. "She's very specific about everything and recants everything." The girl has since moved back into the Dean home.
Renee Dean and Theodocion did not provide a copy of the letter, and District Attorney Ashley Wright said Wednesday that she had not been made aware of such a letter or any alleged recantations.
Theodocion, who said he's confirmed with the girl that she wrote the letter, argued at Scott Dean's trial and at a June 2012 hearing for a motion for a new trial that the allegations against Dean were fabricated.
Superior Court Judge James G. Blanchard Jr. didn't allow testimony that the girl previously lied by telling a Guatemalan judge her biological father killed her brother. The oldest of the adopted children, Marlin Dean, testified that the false testimony was an attempt to get the children out of an abusive home and into an orphanage.
At the June hearing, a prosecutor said the testimony wasn't allowed because it didn't involve a sex crime and the law allows attorneys to only present testimony of false accusations involving sexual misconduct.
Theodocion's appeal of Dean's motion for a retrial to the Court of Appeals of Georgia has not yet been decided. State Appeals Court Clerk Holly Sparrow said Scott Dean's case is currently before the court and she expects a judgement to be handed down before the end of July.
Theodocion said he plans to ask the Appeals Court to remand Scott Dean's case back to the trial court, where Theodocion plans to file an extraordinary motion for a new trial late this week or early next week. That motion is one typically filed when new evidence is presented after a conviction.
"This evidence is worth a new trial so a new jury can hear the current story," Theodocion said. "It's a fascinating series of developments."
Renee Dean said her husband is excited about the news of the girl's alleged recantation and she's ready to move forward with a new trial, if it is granted.
"Then it's a slam dunk," Renee Dean said. "No victim, no crime."