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Jay Lockett Sears Faces Child Porn Charge; Community Shocked

Sears was known as a local philanthropist, who, through his "Mission of Kindness," set out to help local families and children in need.

Westhampton Beach and Quogue community members were shocked to learn that Jay Lockett Sears, a man who touted his dedication to children through a Quogue-based nonprofit organization, Mission of Kindness, was arrested and charged with one count of child pornography by the FBI on Friday.

According to a report on Newsday, Sears, who also owns the architectural firm Sears & Sears, and has designed showcase homes for Michael J. Fox and Susan Lucci, allegedly took photos of young girls at Hamptons parties and local establishments and superimposed their headshots on pornographic materials.

The practice is called "morphing" and is considered pornography.

Sears was taken into custody after some of the photos were found in a garbage container at the Brookhaven transfer station. An investigation revealed that the photos orginated from Sears' East Moriches home, the report stated.

For years, Sears lived in Quogue, where his public image was one of a life spent helping others, bringing food to the homeless in Hampton Bays motels in the 1990s and most recently, reaching out to help children through his Mission of Kindness organization.

As news of Sears' arrest spread, shock waves rocked the community.

"What a shock," said Speonk resident Lisa Fox. "As for the families of these children, it's a heartbreaker. Imagine that an innocent photo of your child frolicking at a beach party turns into a pornographic image. This saddens and sickens me at the same time. The fact the parents have to contact the authorities to see if their child's precious face could be super-imposed is disgusting.This is another break of trust."

Terry Lucas, a Westhampton Beach mother of two girls, agreed. "I'm disillusioned," she said.

Kay Kidde, a founder of the Maureen's Haven homeless outreach program, who attends Westhampton Presbyterian Church, where Sears is a member, said she did not know Sears well, but had crossed paths with him through their charitable organizations.

"This is horrifying," she said.

"My daughter Brittany said it best. How can you believe in humanity if this is true?" Terrie Bauer of Westhampton Beach asked. "I myself have worked with Jay for years and have a really hard time believing any of it. If it is true I am sickened."

Added East Quogue resident Kathy Tureski, "I could not believe it. I'm shocked."

Hampton Bays resident Allen Schneider agreed. "Shocked is the best way to describe it."

In recent years, Lockett has taken out ads in local publications -- wearing a famous white suit and sporting an angel's white wings -- and sent letters to local editors, asking for help with his Mission of Kindness, and for a 12-year-old girl who had undergone many operations, whom he said had a "bright, beautiful light."

College student Vincent Cinque said Sears had come to speak to his class when he was a child about his philanthropic efforts. He said he was not surprised to hear of Sears' arrest. 

"When he came to talk to us back in elementary school, he was just plain creepy," he said.

Lockett is due to appear in court in Central Islip at 2 p.m. on Monday for a bail hearing. 

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Maira February 13, 2013 at 10:40 PM
I know for a fact this guy is guilty. Went to the Westhampton police in 2007 and they did nothing about pictures of my family members heads that were found on porn images in his house back then. I'm glad to see Suffolk PD actually did something about it. I felt betrayed by the law then. Now I see justice may actually be served.
Derry Taylor February 14, 2013 at 03:33 PM
I am sick and tired of armchair judges. He is a good man, who has probably done more for the community he lives in than those who are so quick to cast the first stone. This is not justice. This is a kangaroo court. Stop. We live in a polnt the finger society, and I beg you to understand that if it is the Enquirer you read, it is the Enquirer that becomes your mentality. Which is a zero IQ
Jane Palmer February 16, 2013 at 04:51 AM
He had motives....I've known him since I was young, and his obsession with young kids was disturbing then, and is now. He may have done good things for people, but it seemed and felt like he had ulterior motives, a clever disguise, gaining trust, and knowing who was vulnerable. I never heard of him helping locals, it was always transients who lived in the welfare motels, and kids from NYC. Maybe he was trying to somehow redeem himself in his mind by helping those people.
MLT February 16, 2013 at 07:36 PM
Unfortunately if he was a poor or middle class man without roots deeply in local society and lived and associated with what locals consider respectable members of our comunity you too would judge him as less than an honorable person who has been accused of one of any member of society's worst crimes. If he is guilty or not that is left to the legal system but he also deserves equal justice or punishment for any crime. Lots of good people do bad things
Don Pratt March 12, 2013 at 11:55 AM
Clearly, not all people who want to help children are pedophiles. We need to be on-guard for the "one man charities." Those in the not-for-profit world who really want to help kids-in-need know that it takes a team of folks to provide the most help. Yes, Mr. Sears is innocent until proven guilty, but his charitable work is suspect because of the fact he did it isolated and alone. Let it be a lesson to us.

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