Scott Dean’s hope for a new trial will be placed before a judge today in Reidsville, Ga.
Dean’s attorney, Pete Theodocion, said his client will have a habeas corpus hearing in Tatnall County Superior Court this morning.
“Habeas corpus is basically a hearing to determine if someone is being constitutonally held,” Theodocian said.
The former Columbia County commissioner was convicted of two counts of child molestation in Dec. 2011. Superior Court Judge James G. Blanchard Jr. sentenced Dean to 20 years in prison in January 2012. He’s been held since in Georgia State Prison in Reidsville.
Dean has been seeking a new trial since the alleged victim – his adopted daughter, Silda Dean – recanted her accusations last year.
She told a state Department of Family and Children Services social worker in July 2012 that the allegations were a lie. That social worker later said 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 January of this year, Silda Dean told her foster mother that she made up the allegations against Dean to get away from Renee Dean and get out of their Harlem home.
“Everyone knows that what happened here is wrong,” Theodocion said. “This case is a black mark on the Augusta Judicial Circuit.”
Dean’s first attempt to get a new trial, based on new evidence, was denied in October.
Silda Dean testified at an Oct. 4 hearing that her allegations of child molestation against him were false.
But her recantation, which is considered newly discovered evidence, is not a legal cause to grant a new trial, according to the ruling from Blanchard.
The judge cannot grant a new trial based on Silda Dean’s admission unless she was convicted of perjury.
“Georgia statutes mandate that setting aside of such a verdict ‘when the judgement could not have been obtained without the perjured evidence and the perjurer has been duly convicted thereof,’” according to Blanchard ruling.
District Attorney Ashley Wright said she has no intention of pursuing perjury charges against Silda Dean.
Theodocion said if the Tatnall County judge does not rule in Dean’s favor, they could possibly seek relief before federal judge.
“We’ve been trudging along, pacing every step of the way,” he said. “The fact is that we’ve got an innocent man here and we are not going to stop. We will keep pounding the drums.”
Scott Dean served on the Harlem City Council and more than five years as mayor before winning a seat on the commission in July 2008.
He won the July 2010 Republican primary in the District 4 commission race despite being accused weeks earlier of exchanging inappropriate text messages with a married county employee.
He resigned from the commission in February 2011 when he was indicted on the child molestation charges.