A Cartersville man who admitted having a sexual encounter with an underage boy is headed to prison, according to the Cobb District Attorney’s office.

Wesley Tyronne Dean, 58, pleaded guilty on Friday to one count of child molestation. After accepting the plea, Cobb Superior Court Judge Kimberly A. Childs sentenced Dean to 20 years, with 15 years to serve in custody and the balance on probation, said Kim Isaza, spokesperson for the Cobb DA’s office.

In October 2016, the mother of a 14-year-old boy found inappropriate text messages from Dean on her son’s phone. The teenager told investigators that on Oct. 28, 2016, Dean drove him to the Marriott hotel in the Galleria area, where the two engaged in sexual activity. Security video from the hotel confirmed the two were there together that night. Dean also gave a full confession to investigators, Isaza said.

“Mr. Dean preyed upon the vulnerability and insecurity of a teenage boy by giving him money, purchasing him gifts and making him feel cared for and accepted — all with the motivation of exploiting him sexually,” said Senior ADA Katie Gropper, who prosecuted the case.

Cobb Police investigated the case.

Dean, who has been in custody since February 2017, had been a top NCAA women’s basketball referee, having worked NCAA Tournament games from 1994 through 2014, including the 2003 championship game between Connecticut and Tennessee. In 2006, he was chosen as the Naismith women’s official of the year, the Associated Press previously reported.

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