Scott Dean’s family, friends and supporters gathered on the front lawn of Red Oak Manor Tuesday for a candlelight vigil.
The group of about 40 people held candles in the dark as they prayed for Scott Dean and his family.
“I can’t tell you what it means to see everybody come just to pray, pray for Scott, pray for the judge, pray for justice,” his wife, Renee, said. “This has been a really long road and we need it to end.”
Silda Dean, one of the five children the Deans adopted from Guatemala in 2008,testified at a Oct. 4 hearing that her allegations of child molestation against him were false. Superior Court Judge James G. Blanchard Jr. is considering an extraordinary motion for new trial based on her recantation.
In December 2011, a jury convicted Scott Dean on two counts of child molestation. Blanchard sentenced Scott Dean to 20 years in prison in January 2012. He had been held in the Georgia State Prison in Reidsville, Ga., but is currently in the Columbia County Detention Center awaiting the judge’s ruling.
“Every time we see the light at the end of the tunnel, it seems like it’s the train,” Renee Dean said at the vigil. “So we’re hoping that this light at the end of this tunnel really will bring us some peace and bring us some closure and conclusion. It’s been very very difficult. We’ve been praying all along. I know you and so many others have been praying all along. It is the only thing that has kept us sane. I thought what better way than to all pray together.”
Harlem Baptist Church Pastor Philip Vestal led the group in prayer and ended the vigil with the singing of Amazing Grace.
Those gathered wrote messages to Dean in a notebook that his wife plans to read to him.
Silda Dean said in October 2011 that Scott Dean inappropriately touched her, exposed himself to her and propositioned her when she was 15. She was initially removed from the Dean home and moved into a foster home in late 2010.
The now 19-year-old told a state Department of Family and Children Services social worker in July 2012 that the allegations were a lie. The social worker testified at the hearing that she told her supervisor and the issue was discussed with local and state DFCS legal counsels. Nothing was ever done with the information.
In February, Silda Dean told her foster mother and wrote a letter to her adoptive mother and to Scott Dean’s attorney, Pete Theodocion, explaining that her testimony was a lie and that Dean is not guilty of the charges he was convicted of.
“The Dean and Meyer families have been a blessing to me and my business,” family friend Roger Southard said at the vigil.
‘‘I have been in Harlem for the last three years, I didn’t know a soul when I moved here. They have opened their hearts and their restaurant and have been a blessing to me many times.
“I know their children need their daddy back. I know Renee needs her husband back.”
Blanchard denied a motion for new trial in June 2012 and the Georgia Court of Appeals upheld that decision in May.
Theodocion said the latest request meets the six requirements to have a new trial granted based on new evidence. Assistant District Attorney Madonna Little argued at the hearing that a victim’s recantation is not cause for a new trial. She said new evidence coming forward cannot be to impeach a witness post-trial. Blanchard is expected to rule on the request any day.
“I know God is listening,” Renee Dean said at the vigil. “With all of us here together, I hope the judge is listening. I hope the town is listening. I think with all the prayers going up, having these prayers together, I think is going to touch the heart of the judge or the next jury or anybody else involved.
“I’m just hoping that by coming together like this, we can see the end coming in a positive, positive way.”