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Long IslandCrime

East End architect convicted of child porn remanded to jail

East End architect Jay Lockett Sears leaves the

East End architect Jay Lockett Sears leaves the Federal Court Complex in Central Islip on Friday, May 30, 2014. Photo Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

A prominent East End architect who pleaded guilty to a child pornography charge in 2013 will be remanded into custody while a federal court determines if he violated the terms of his supervised release.

U.S. District Court Judge Denis R. Hurley said Jay Lockett Sears, 78, who has designed homes for Clint Eastwood, Michael J. Fox, Susan Lucci and other celebrities, needs to be detained because he is a flight risk.

Sears was arrested Thursday after federal prosecutor Allen Bode said a probation officer found “several” bags of child pornography at the architect’s home during a recent visit.

Authorities say Sears clipped pictures of young girls from children’s publications and then pasted their faces on photos of nude adults.

Hurley said it’s unlikely that Sears would pose a threat to the minors or other members of the community, but he said the architect needs to be detained after a therapist told the court via phone that Sears has threatened to kill himself if he has to return to jail.

“He talked about his experiences in jail and said if he had to do any jail time, he would do himself in,” said psychologist Theresa DeSantis.

Hurley said Sears needs to be remanded because if the architect is willing to consider suicide, he might also consider fleeing the country. “Given the serious thought to suicide suggests to me he is likely to flee,” Hurley said.

Sears’ attorney Randi Chavis declined to comment after the hearing.

Sears, accused of photographing underage girls and modifying the images to make them look as if they were performing sexual acts, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Central Islip in 2013 to one count of possession of child pornography. He was sentenced in 2014 to 3 weeks in jail and 5 years’ supervised release.

Sears was arraigned last week at a Suffolk County hospital. It was not clear why he had been hospitalized, but Chavis told Hurley that he client suffers from multiple health issues.

Sears is scheduled to return to court June 27.

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