Ex-commissioner’s molestation trial starts
The trial of former Columbia County Commissioner and accused child molester Scott Dean continued Tuesday with testimony from one of the alleged victims.
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.”
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.
Pete Theodocion, Dean’s attorney, said the girl grew up in an abusive home and was very close to her older sister, 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.”
Marlin said she ran away from the Dean’s Harlem home in October 2010 to be with her boyfriend. While in Mexico, Marlin said she lied about her adopted father, insinuating he’d touched her younger sister and made advances toward her to get money from her family.
“She was on the road in Mexico,” Theodocion said at a hearing held before the jury trial began. “(She lied so) that people would send her money and feel sorry for her.”
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, including West Virginia twin sisters who said Dean, then 14, molested them at a pool party and sleepover at their home when they were 12. Charges were never filed in those cases.
Dean was elected to the county commission in 2008 and re-elected in November 2010. 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.
Go to newstimesonline.com for live updates on the Dean trial.
Witness-tampering allegation added
A Grovetown man accused of molesting two teen girls was charged Friday with influencing a witness.
The charge was added to the multiple sex charges leveled in recent weeks at Landon “Dock” Norman, 40, of the 1900 block of Long Creek Falls.
Also charged with influencing a witness was Juliana Erin Key, 29, of the 4300 block of Goshen Lake Drive South in Augusta.
According to a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office report, “The reporter advised that he was approached by the suspect and asked to influence a witness to drop the charges against him.”
The report doesn’t specify if the “suspect” was Norman or Key, but Norman has been jailed at the Columbia County Detention Center since a Superior Court judge denied him bond last month.
Key was released from the detention center Thursday, the same day she was booked, on a $7,600 bond, according to a jailor.
Norman is accused of touching a 14-year-old girl and charged with aggravated child molestation, enticing a child for indecent purposes and five counts of electronically furnishing obscene materials to a minor.
Though arrested in October, the incident occurred in June at Riverside Park, where the alleged victim’s brother and Norman’s son played baseball together.
Norman also is charged with aggravated sexual battery, aggravated sexual assault and rape in connection to a then 16-year-old girl’s claims two years ago that he molested her for four months.
The following accounts were taken from reports from The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. Additional reports are available at www.columbiacountyso.org:
Man threatens to kill accomplice
While sitting in the back of a squad car Friday, a man arrested for forgery told a sheriff’s deputy he would kill his alleged accomplice.
Calvin Edward Huffman, 26, of the 3000 block of Terrace Road in Augusta, was being taken to the Columbia County Detention Center for outstanding forgery warrants when he told the deputy, “You can charge me with terroristic threats, or whatever you want to, but I’m gonna (sic) kill (his alleged accomplice) when I get out.”
After Huffman was booked, the deputy contacted a magistrate and added an arrest warrant for terroristic threats.
Huffman remained jailed Tuesday morning.
Counterfeit money used to buy TV
Using counterfeit $100 bills, a man early Saturday purchased a 42-inch flat-screen television from the Grovetown Walmart.
A Walmart employee told deputies the man used six fake $100 bills to buy the $448 TV and a $25 Virgin Mobile card.
It wasn’t until after the man left the store that the employee realized the bills were counterfeit.
Equipment destroyed at school site
Fire extinguishers were used Saturday evening to vandalize a piece of construction equipment at the site for a new Evans Elementary School.
The Caterpillar was parked at the site on Gibbs Road during the weekend when someone emptied a fire extinguisher into the vehicle’s gas tank.
Other fire extinguishers were sprayed out throughout the site.
Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue report for Dec. 4-10:
Alarm out of service, one; carbon monoxide detector activation, one; CPR in progress, one; activated fire alarm, five; gas line rupture, three; medical incident, 25; vehicle accident, 12; controlled/unauthorized burn, two; assist citizens, two; structure fire, four; vehicle fire, one; and woods/brush/grass fire, one.