Jan. 9, 2012

Perhaps the most inexplicable of the prosecution’s targets was 40-year-old Scott Privott, owner of an Edenton video store and shoe repair shop.

Son of a district court judge, he served as president of the local country club. No evidence ever surfaced to support the rumor that Privott’s video store was a hub for child pornography or to counter his claim never to have even set foot on the Little Rascals premises. According to the prosecution, children at the day care identified him as a perpetrator.

120109PrivottIn April 1993 his bail was reduced from $1 million to $50,000, and he was released on bond from Chowan County Jail. Fourteen months later, Privott accepted the state’s offer of a plea of no contest, still insisting on his innocence, and received a sentence of time served with an additional five years probation.

He says he has been happily married for 14 years and doesn’t want to reveal where he now lives. I asked him to share some recollections about the case:

“Bob and I were more acquaintances than close friends. I played golf with him when he was the pro. Bob rented movies from my store, and he and many others would come by and have coffee and just talk. In fact, many of the accusing parents rented movies from me. (Bob Kelly suspects Privott may have been drawn into the case when Kelly’s truck was seen parked in front of the video store.)….

“In jail I spent the time reading and watching TV. We weren’t allowed newspapers, so I wasn’t sure what was being written about the case…. At times it was hard to keep my spirits up. I had gallbladder surgery and recuped at Central Prison in Raleigh and at McCain (Correctional Hospital in Raeford, closed in 2010)….

“Jail had just a walled-in area for outside activity, but at McCain I enjoyed being able to walk around the yard with others awaiting trial…I was in “safekeeping” and actually met some intelligent, thoughtful people. I never had any problems, as the majority knew the entire LRDC case was a farce….

“My wife came on Sundays, but as the years rolled on the visits were less and less, and then I noted a change I had been kind of expecting. She brought my mother with her, and in the later years she stood back and kind of let the visits be between mother and son. It turned out she had met someone new in her life. She didn’t have the nerve to tell me, but I figured it out….”