Quogue philanthropist Jay Lockett Sears, 73, who has been in jail since Jan. 25 on a child pornography charge, has been released on bail.
On Friday afternoon, Judge A. Kathleen Tomlinson ruled to release him on a $250,000 secured bond; however, ordered that he is to be confined to home detention with an electronic monitor and that he is to have no contact with any children.
Tomlison further ordered that Sears undergo a mental health evaluation.
Sears' release comes after three bail hearings — the first on Jan. 25 when the judge declared him a danger to the community and denied him bail. Sears reappeared in court on Jan. 28 and Newsday reported that Sears' attorney, Daniel Barker, of Riverhead, told the magistrate that his client had not yet come up with a bail package to present to the court.
Sears was in court a third time on Valentine's Day, however, a bail amount could not be agreed on.
Sears, who runs a Quogue-based nonprofit called Mission of Kindness, and who owns an architectural firm that has designed houses for celebrities, including Michael J. Fox and Clint Eastwood, stands accused of one count of child pornography.
He was arrested on Jan. 25 after some of the photos that he allegedly created by cutting and pasting children's faces onto adult pornography — a process called morphing — were found in a garbage container at the Brookhaven transfer station. An investigation revealed that the photos originated from Sears' East Moriches home, according to authorities, who report that since Sears' arrest they have managed to identify some of the children in the photos.
The news came as a shock to residents in Westhampton Beach and Quogue. Find out what they had to say here.
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