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Scotty Bartek

Other Child Sex Abuse Cases Where No Crime Was Committed
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In February 1991, 24-year-old Scotty Bartek was charged with two counts of capital sexual battery in Marion County, Florida after his 5-year-old daughter said he sexually molested her.

Bartek went to trial in Marion County Circuit Court in September 1991. His daughter, identified as G.B., who was then six years old, testified that Bartek had molested her. A physician testified that a physical examination showed signs that were consistent with penetration, but also conceded that G.B. had pinworms and that the physical irritation could have been the result of itching and rubbing by G.B.

Bartek’s wife testified that G.B. told her of two incidents in 1990. She denied that she had coached G.B. to make the accusations.

A crime laboratory analyst said that DNA tests identified Bartek’s sperm on sheets that were on G.B.’s bed. Bartek's wife, Patricia, testified that it was possible that she and Bartek had sex on the child's bed, but she said she could not recall doing so

Bartek denied molesting his daughter and said the sperm on the bedding came was from when he and his wife had sex on G.B.’s bed. On September 9, 1991, the jury convicted him of both counts of sexual battery. Bartek was sentenced to life in prison.

In 2001, G.B., by then 16 years old, told her grandfather (who was Bartek’s father) that the accusation was false and that she had been coerced by her mother to make the false claim.

Accompanied by Bartek’s father, G.B. went to the public defender’s office and they were referred to the Marion County District Attorney’s Office. There, they met with Jerry Burford, who prosecuted Bartek at the 1991 trial. G.B. later testified that Burford told them that the case was over and there was nothing that could be done.

In 2008, G.B., by then 23 years old and a member of the U.S. Navy, gave a sworn affidavit saying that her mother had coached her to accuse Bartek of sexually molesting her and that he had never touched her improperly.

The statement said, “Scott Bartek did not molest, abuse, or touch me in any way that was of a sexual nature…I was coached by my mother into making those claims due to the fact that my mother did not get along with (Bartek).”

In 2009, attorney Michael Gourley filed a motion for a new trial on Bartek’s behalf. Subsequently, Bartek’s attorneys filed a letter written by G.B.’s mother, Patricia, saying that the girl had never been sexually abused. She said in the letter that Bartek was innocent and that at one point, she thought she might lose custody. She also said that her daughter was manipulative and confused. She did not deny coaching G.B. in the letter, but insisted that Bartek was innocent.

At a hearing on the motion for a new trial, prosecutor Burford said he could not recall meeting with G.B. or her grandfather. G.B. said she had no memory of Bartek ever touching her in any sexual way.

In May 2012, Circuit Judge Hale Stancil granted Bartek a new trial based on G.B.’s recantation—which the judge found credible—and because the prosecution had failed to disclose G.B.’s recantation to Bartek’s defense lawyer in 2001.

On December 26, 2013, Bartek was released on bond. On February 27, 2014, the prosecution dismissed the charges.

Bartek filed a lawsuit seeking compensation, but the lawsuit was dismissed after a judge ruled the lawsuit had been filed too late.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 9/4/2016
State:Florida
County:Marion
Most Serious Crime:Child Sex Abuse
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:1990
Convicted:1991
Exonerated:2014
Sentence:Life
Race:Caucasian
Sex:Male
Age at the date of crime:24
Contributing Factors:Perjury or False Accusation
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No