The trials and tribulations of Scott Dean

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There has never been so much sympathy for a convicted child molester than there has been the past few weeks in Columbia County.
But the main reason for all the sympathy is apparent: Is former Columbia County Commissioner Scott Dean actually guilty of molesting his adopted daughter from Guatemala? Or is he an innocent man wrongly sitting behind bars?
In January 2012, Scott Dean was sentenced to 20 years in prison and received an additional 20 years of probation after being convicted on two counts of child molestation.
During the 2012 sentencing hearing, Superior Court Judge James Blanchard Jr. announced that the former mayor of Harlem would not receive any special treatment in his courtroom.
“In my mind, he should be treated no differently than anyone else convicted of a similar crime,” Blanchard was quoted as saying in The Augusta Chronicle in 2012.
The two counts of child molestation carry a state-mandated sentence of five to 20 years each, so the judge had the option of giving Dean between 10 and 40 years in prison.
Blanchard settled on 20 years behind bars.
According to the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, Scott Dean must serve at least 18 years of sentence before he is eligible for parole.
That’s why the pending decision by Judge Blanchard is so crucial for Dean. He is out of options.
Late last week, Dean’s attorney Pete Theodocion went before Blanchard petitioning for a new trial based on the fact that Dean’s 19-year-old adopted daughter, Silda, has now admitted that she lied during her testimony in 2011.
Silda, who was adopted from Guatemala in 2008 by Scott Dean and his wife, Renee, along with her other four siblings, alleged in 2010 that the former mayor of Harlem had inappropriately touched her when she was 15. She also accused Dean of exposing himself to her while propositioning her for sex on a separate occasion in 2010.
But last week, Silda, now 19, testified in court that she made up the entire story.
“It was a lie,” Silda told Blanchard on the stand.
This will likely be Dean’s last chance to escape his 20-year sentence at Georgia State Prison in Reidsville, Ga.
In May, the Georgia Court of Appeals upheld Dean’s conviction and denied that he had been unfairly tried in his child molestation conviction.
In fact, the court found that Blanchard was correct in allowing the prosecution to present evidence that Dean had committed similar acts in 1984 against 12-year-old twin girls in West Virginia when he was 14 years old.
Blanchard’s decision in the upcoming weeks will be crucial for Dean. And some insiders say that the likelihood of Dean getting a new trial is slim, even though his adopted daughter has admitted that she lied throughout his 2011 trial.
Facing the possibility of returning to Reidsville to serve out his remaining time in prison probably makes Dean long for the days when his only worry was a scandal over texting.
A few years back, all eyes were on Dean after allegations surfaced that he allegedly had inappropriate text exchanges with a married female county employee.
Despite the reports of inappropriate text messages, Dean still proved his popularity in Columbia County by winning his District 4 commission seat with 53 percent of the votes in 2010. He later had to resign from his seat after he was indicted on child molestation charges.
But, for whatever reason, some folks in Columbia County love Dean and many still insist that he is innocent. That’s why so many people are anxiously awaiting Blanchard’s ruling regarding Dean’s request for a new trial.
After all, Dean was once the owner of Superman T-shirt that he was rumored to have flashed during a public appearance not long after his world began to fall apart.
Dean will need all the super strength he can muster to get through the next few weeks because it has been a very long time since he even remotely resembled the Man of Steel.