News 12 at 6 o'clock / Friday, June 15, 2012
EVANS, Ga. -- On Friday, a judge denied a new trial for former Harlem Mayor and Columbia County Commissioner Scott Dean.
In December, Dean was convicted of molesting his adopted daughter, both touching and exposing himself to her. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
He was trusted for years as a local politician, but now Dean is known as a convicted sex offender.
"He's doing fine. He's glad to be home, back in Columbia County -- at least for Father's Day weekend. You know, it's better than nothing," said Dean's Attorney Pete Theodocion.
His defense team argued he deserves a new trial.
"We argued some of the same arguments we argued at trial. While we feel we did not get a fair trial the first time, and we're seeking a new one," Theodocion said.
Theodocion says testimony about "similar transactions" should not have been allowed in the trial. One case centered on the testimony of twin women from West Virginia, who claimed Dean touched them inappropriately when they were 12 and he was 14.
"Our position is that it's fundamentally unfair to penalize a man in his 40's for accusations when he was 14 years of age," Theodocion said.
He also argued the 15-year-old victim in this case lied about her natural father to leave Guatemala. The oldest daughter, Marlin Dean, supported that in court Friday.
"What had [the victim] told the judge regarding your natural father?" Theodocion asked her in court. "That my dad drowned her twin brother," she replied.
"Had Danny died as a fact of being drowned?" he asked again.
"No sir," Marlin replied.
"How did he pass away?" Theodocion asked.
"He died when he was asleep," Marlin said. "She said she didn't want to go home."
In the end, Judge James Blanchard is trusting the 12 men and women and their decision from December.
"The court, at this time, is going to deny your motion for a new trial. Let the appellate process begin, sir," Blanchard announced.
Another similar transaction used in the trial was testimony of Marlin, who after running away to Mexico, told investigators her father tried having sex with her, which is a claim she now denies.
Now Dean can go through the state appeals process. Theodocion expects it to be in an Atlanta courtroom by the end of the year.