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Feb 19, 2013 5:30 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

East End Architect Jay Sears Released On $250,000 Bail; Now Under House Arrest In Quogue

Feb 20, 2013 10:50 AM

East End architect and philanthropist Jay Lockett Sears, who was arrested late last month on possession of child pornography charges, was released from federal custody on Friday afternoon after posting a $250,000 bond, which was secured only after his sister and her husband, who live in Maryland, put up property that they own as collateral.

Before U.S. District Court Magistrate Kathleen Tomlinson released the 73-year-old founder of the “Mission of Kindness” organization, a Quogue-based nonprofit that assists those in need in the community, prosecutors said for the first time Friday that they believe Mr. Sears used his foundation as a front in order to get close to minors and take photographs of them. One of the prosecutors also confirmed that one of the children identified in the photos taken by Mr. Sears was of a 14-year-old homeless girl for whom Mr. Sears’s previously provided financial assistance.

Mr. Sears’s attorneys denied those allegations in court last Friday afternoon.

Mr. Sears has been accused of possessing hundreds of sexual images of identifiable minors, including those recovered at his former apartment in East Moriches and others at a transfer station in Brookhaven Town. Federal investigators say he cut and pasted children’s faces onto the bodies of adults appearing in pornographic photos—a process known as “morphing”—and that he took photos of minors at events and fundraisers held on the East End, including those at the Quogue Beach Club.

They also said he would take photos of his sexual collages, though there is no evidence that he electronically transmitted or shared them with others—another announcement that prosecutors shared for the first time last Thursday.

As part of the bail agreement, Mr. Sears’s sister and her husband—identified in court only as Missy and David—had to put up property that they own to cover the $250,000 bond. It was not clear if the property in question is on the East End or in Maryland. Mr. Sears’s sister declined to speak with a reporter following last week’s court proceedings.

Upon his release from a federal holding facility in Nassau County on Friday afternoon, Mr. Sears will remain under house arrest and be monitored by an electronic bracelet, according to the terms of the arrangement. He is staying at the Quogue home of a longtime friend who has been identified only as Gerta by attorneys. Mr. Sears can leave the house only when he must appear in court or go to the doctor—and all visits must be previously approved by a judge.

Neither prosecutors nor Mr. Sears’s defense attorneys—Daniel Barker of Riverhead and Richard Signorelli of Manhattan—would provide any additional information regarding the bail package or explain their client’s defense.

As part of the court order issued by Judge Tomlinson, Mr. Sears is also forbidden from seeing, talking to or, in any way, communicating with those under the age of 18 unless a parent or legal guardian is present. Contingent upon his release, Mr. Sears must also submit to a psychological evaluation to be carried out within 21 days of his release by a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist, and must surrender his passport to authorities.

In court last Thursday afternoon, during the first of two days of bail hearings, Mr. Sears’s attorneys and Assistant U.S. Attorney Allen Bode, the main prosecutor, revealed more information about the investigation regarding Mr. Sears, who, as of earlier this week, still has not been formally indicted on the charges. All three attorneys have declined to comment on the case.

Mr. Bode told the court that investigators believe Mr. Sears, who would often wear white suits outfitted with angel’s wings, abused his charity and used his celebrity to meet children. Mr. Bode also confirmed that one of the children identified in the altered photos was that of a minor for whom he had previously provided financial assistance.

Additionally, prosecutors said investigators found a sheet of paper outlining the different kinds of sexual acts he wanted to perform with the same girl, who was 14 at the time. She was the oldest child in the photographs recovered in his apartment, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors—who used the word “rape” throughout last Thursday’s proceedings to describe what was being portrayed in the altered images created by Mr. Sears—told the court that authorities recovered several working and replica rifles, as well as toy guns, in Mr. Sears’s old apartment in East Moriches. Some of the altered images show Mr. Sears holding a gun, they said. Defense attorneys said there was no ammunition for any of the working weapons.

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Here's my analysis of this story as it relates to our wonderful community of bloggers on 27east.

Here is a fairly clear case of someone doing awful things and not one comment from NATURE, PBR, NATIVE, CHEIF1, and all you others negative bloggers .....

Want to build a new grocery store in Westhampton and there's like 100 comments, want to upgrade a bakery to a cafe and all the comments come out.

Bail denied - good call judge! Our community is not safe with this guy out ...more
By whatapity (106), Tuckahoe on Feb 15, 13 9:46 AM
3 members liked this comment
Since you made this personal right off the bat (with your POSITIVE comment, give us a break!) . . .

what a pity indeed!

Please read previous articles and comments. [links under Mr. Sears photo at top of page]

Then apologize.

Then please look up the definitions of "negative" and "positive."

PS -- Check your avatar too please, both for the text and photo -- really "positive" vibes, right? Thank you.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 15, 13 10:15 AM

Feb 17, 13 2:54 AM appended by Mr. Z
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Feb 16, 13 2:54 AM
1 member liked this comment
I agree with your assessment. 6 comments total. leaves things open to a lot of interpretation. this behavior is an absolute epidemic in our society and its coming to light closer to home now. time to turn those flashlights on people and rid the bugs of society.
By motherof4boys (9), Hampton Bays on Feb 18, 13 4:08 PM
He should have stayed in Jail NO BAIL!!!!!!!!!
By wpoole (14), westhampton beach on Feb 22, 13 1:54 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By whatapity (106), Tuckahoe on Feb 28, 13 10:48 AM
What is up in Quogue? This guy with kiddie porn, the tip jar stealer, a Quogue cop with an order of protection against him. The old Mayor is already in jail for stock fraud. The Village seems like quite a mess. Are the Quogue Police keeping track of Mr. Sears? How is that going to work with their track record?
By G (342), Southampton on Feb 15, 13 3:11 PM
Well, on the plus side.. It finally gives the Quogue cops something to do... Instead of sit around in their cars all day, watching people try to abide by the painful 30mph speed limit.
By The Royal 'We' (199), Southampton on Feb 15, 13 4:04 PM
Article updated. Bail and release.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 15, 13 5:05 PM
There is a new Print version of the article. See blue link at top of page.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 19, 13 10:21 PM