A Kennesaw man who fled a Bartow County courtroom in 2012 — and has been on the lam for approximately seven years — entered a negotiated plea of guilty to 11 charges Tuesday morning.
Georgia Superior Court Senior Judge Shepherd L. Howell sentenced Kevin Owen Dean, 68, to 40 years for nearly half a dozen offenses, for which he will spend the first 20 years in prison and the remainder on probation.
“We had this case set back for a non-jury trial seven years ago in front of Judge D. Scott Smith,” said Cherokee Judicial Circuit Senior Assistant District Attorney Sharon Fox. “On the day of the trial, the defendant did not appear. I have spent years tracking Mr. Dean through multiple countries, in cooperation with Interpol and the United States Marshals Service.”
According to Fox, the defendant was arrested in Mexico. “He had a driver’s license and a false name and was recently brought back to the United States to face these charges,” she said.
Prosecutors said Dean molested his step-granddaughter — who was under the age of 16 at the time of the offenses — at both his Cobb County residence and place of business, Imperial Medical Technologies, in Cartersville.
Dean was originally charged with two counts of aggravated child molestation and two counts of aggravated sexual battery — which were reduced to the lesser included offenses of child molestation and sexual battery of a minor. He entered a plea of guilty to those four charges in Bartow Superior Court Tuesday, as well as six additional counts of child molestation and one count of enticing a child for indecent purposes.
In court, Dean pleaded guilty to touching the breasts, genitals and buttocks of the victim, as well as showing her explicit sexual material, performing a lewd act in front of her and penetrating her with a foreign object.
Dean entered an “Alford plea” for all 11 charges — meaning that the defendant did not technically admit to committing the crimes in court, but nonetheless pleaded guilty due to the prosecution having sufficient evidence to likely garner a conviction during a trial.
He received a 20-year sentence on the first count of child molestation, with a concurrent 20-year sentence for the second count of child molestation and two concurrent five-year sentences for the two counts of sexual battery on a minor. Dean received a consecutive 20-year sentence for the third count of child molestation, for which he received concurrent 20-year sentences for the remaining five child molestation counts and one count of enticing a child for indecent purposes.
Fox said the victim, who is now an adult, is in agreement with the State’s recommended sentencing.
“Had it gone to trial, the State was also prepared to argue life,” Fox said. Per Bartow Superior Court documents, Dean faced a maximum quadruple life sentence for the offenses, plus an additional 130 years.
A bill of indictment indicates the offenses occurred between June 1, 2008, and Jan. 20, 2010. Fox said Dean previously told investigators that he “did things he shouldn’t have done” with the victim.
“He acknowledged that she saw the porn on the internet and that she had seen his penis,” Fox said. “He also wrapped his penis in Saran Wrap and had her engage in oral sex on him. He masturbated in front of her and told her he would go to jail if she told.”
The victim, Fox said, told authorities the defendant would fondle her on rides to and from his Cartersville-based business. She said she anticipates more charges to follow for Dean in other jurisdictions.
“I’ve been in touch with the Cobb County prosecutor’s office and they have docketed it pending his return to the United States,” Fox said. “It’s my understanding they’re going to pursue charges against him there as well.”
Pending Dean is released from prison, Fox said the defendant is subject to numerous sex offender probation conditions.
“I’ve marked that the credit for time served to be determined by the custodian because I wanted to make sure that he did get credit for the time coming out of Mexico and the State of Texas,” she said. “I know the court customarily waives the driving charges, but because in this rare case some of the incidents occurred while they were driving, I do want to include those in his special conditions. I also want to make sure the internet conditions are there, because a lot of the sexual material had been downloaded.”
Fox said Dean may possibly face additional child sexual abuse charges in other states.
“The State has served notice of similar transactions involving a conviction for two counts of lewd and lascivious acts against a child under 16 in Pinellas County, Florida,” she said, “as well as two additional similar transaction victims … that came forward and are willing to testify to similar acts committed against them when they were minors.”