Jay Lockett Sears, noted East End architect, gets 3 weeks in jail for child porn

East end architect Jay Lockett Sears leaves court

East end architect Jay Lockett Sears leaves court after being sentenced on Friday, May 30, 2014. (Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan)

A prominent East End architect who photographed young girls and altered the images to make it look as if they were engaged in sex acts was sentenced Friday to time served -- 3 weeks in jail.

Jay Lockett Sears, 75, of East Quogue, who had pleaded guilty to a single count of child pornography, must also serve 6 months' home confinement with an electronic monitor, followed by 5 years' supervised release.

U.S. District Judge Denis R. Hurley ordered Sears to continue mental health treatment, register as a sex offender and perform 200 hours of community service.


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Under sentencing guidelines, Sears faced 24 to 30 months in prison. Federal probation officers had recommended he be sentenced to a year and a day.

"I appear before you this morning knowing what I did was legally and morally wrong," Sears told Hurley before he was sentenced in Central Islip. "I apologize to all of those I have adversely affected."

In explaining why he didn't impose a stiffer sentence, Hurley cited the architect's poor health, his encouraging response to treatment, a long and distinguished career, and years of charity work and service as a volunteer firefighter.

Hurley said he received 35 letters supporting Sears from relatives and East End residents, and noted that no children had been physically abused in his production of child pornography.

After Sears snapped the girls' pictures, unbeknown to them, he cut out their faces and pasted them onto those of adults having sex. Hurley said Sears apparently kept the altered photos for himself and did not distribute them.

Eastern District federal prosecutor Allen Bode declined to comment afterward on the case, which was jointly investigated by the FBI and Suffolk County detectives.

Sears is credited with designing about 1,500 homes, mostly on the East End, for celebrities including Michael J. Fox, Susan Lucci and Clint Eastwood.

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