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Arrest of Sayville Custodian for Child Porn Shocks District, Colleagues

Lincoln Avenue Elementary night custodian Shawn Mead is described as hard-working.

The Tuesday of a Sayville elementary custodian on a child pornography charge came as a big shock and surprise to both district administrators and colleagues who describe Shawn Mead as a hard-working employee.

“All I can think of is he got himself involved in something he didn’t realize what it was,” said one district worker who requested anonymity.

“He’s a very good worker. This will put a big dent in his life and career,” the colleague told Patch.

The 44-year-old Patchogue resident, who has worked as a Sayville custodian for 12 years, most recently as a night custodian at , turned himself into police at 12:30 a.m. Tuesday. He is charged with one count of possessing a sexual performance by a child, according to police. The Class E felony carries a maximum jail sentence of four years.

The arrest, according to police, came after the unit conducted an undercover investigation into individuals trading child pornography online. Mead is scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip Tuesday.

Mead has been suspended with pay, according to John Belmonte, Sayville assistant superintendent for business, who said Suffolk Police did not contact the district about the arrest until mid-morning Tuesday. According to FindtheData.com website, Mead earned a salary of $66,915 as of 2011. 

“A this point we know little, except child porn was found on his home computer according to the police, and there doesn’t seem to be any involvement with any Lincoln Avenue school children," Belmonte told Patch. "It was all Internet downloads from what we have been told.

The district is conducting its own investigation, he added.

“The first thing we did was scan all our district computers and there is no indication that anything took place on school property,” Belmonte said, describing Mead as an “exemplary employee and very hard worker,” and adding the safety of the students is paramount to the district.

Mead's father, Michael, served as a custodian in the district for 27 years, the last 23 as head district building and grounds chief, and .

“This is an allegation that we are taking very seriously. Mead was a night custodian and was not exposed to students during his work hours,” Belmonte said. 

One colleague was clearly stunned by the news of Mead’s arrest and told Patch Mead was a hard worker and someone who may not have realized what he had gotten involved in.

“He seems a little naïve,” said the colleague.

Minx McCloud August 21, 2012 at 04:29 PM
This update just affirms what I said in my post on the original article. Whether or not you are a hard worker or a "good" person has nothing to do with your sexual proclivities. ANYONE can be a pedophile. This is an aberration that festers deep inside of a person. I am SO hoping that viewing pictures is the only action this man took to find satisfaction. Minx McCloud Former Bayport resident
patricia pausewang August 21, 2012 at 04:50 PM
The School district has taken the appropriate action now that they are aware of the situation. We all need to remember that there is no way of knowing what neighbors, employees, friends and family are doing behind closed doors. Keep the lines of communication open with your children, that is your best defense.
Michele Gerena August 21, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Michele Gerena I don’t believe the school has taken the appropriate action. This individual turned himself in and did in fact state he did have the pictures and videos of children. Is co-worker thinks he is NAIVE....REALLY! You would have to be an absolute brain dead person not to know what you got yourself into! The school district in NOT taking this seriously enough! “He worked over nights and was not exposed to children”...OMG. He is in a school environment enough said. He should be terminated immediately! It is NOT okay to have these photos and videos regardless if you are an exemplary employ, good person or wonderful parent. He has an illness and should be kept far away from any child Michele Gerena Sayville Resident
Ian August 21, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Everyone is automatically in attack mode. While he turned himself in it was probably easier than letting this thing loom over his head. Addiiotnally, I don't think proper respect is giving to people who have this "festering" within them. While it is illegal and against modern-day social norms this should be something that is treated like another sexual preference. While I am not saying that he shouldn't be punished or we should allow people like this to act out their fantasies, I feel it is important to keep an open mind regarding the way some people are born and still have respect.
Clare N August 21, 2012 at 07:09 PM
I agree wholeheartedly with Michele and others who have made posts. I don't really care if this guy had a perfect attendance record and mopped a good floor for 12 years. I couldn't care less that his father worked for 27 years as a custodian, etc. etc. I don't know what Sean Meade's family life was frowing up, but pedophiles aren't just "born"--they are "made". Most of them have been sexually abused as children as well. God knows what kind of family he came from. ANYONE who works with children, including coaches, custodians, Principal's, even teachers should be thoroughly screened before working with children! Although most don't have a record, people who are pedophiles most often want to place themselves as CLOSE to children as possible. We need to keep closer tabs on our children and on the people who are around them! Peggy Sayville resident
lola August 21, 2012 at 07:45 PM
Fired pronto! No ifs, ans or buts about it..... He is a Danger to our childten!!
patricia pausewang August 21, 2012 at 07:46 PM
I agree he should be kept far away from innocent children. But the school district has to work within the limits of the law, and i belive that is what they have done.
thorn August 21, 2012 at 08:28 PM
he isnt fired by way of "innocent until proven guilty" expect him to be fired sooner than later, it is just legal/politics for the moment. Beyond that, some of the comments show pretty wild ignorance.. Pedophiles are mentally ill, this can stem from anything, anything at all, they can be born that way, they can lead incredibly "normal" lives otherwise. You can get upset at every agency in the world, but the only thing you can really do is educate your children to keep away from strangers because all the background checks in the world wouldn't have caught this guy any sooner- but you can BE GLAD for the internet- most of these guys will catch themselves just like this guy.
Susan Reilly Wood August 21, 2012 at 10:07 PM
First of all you don't know what kind of family he came from so nothing can be said about them at this time. Second, all coaches, custodians, Principal's, teachers and teachers aids are thoroughly screened before they are allowed to work in the district, any district for that matter. If a person has never been arrested, convicted etc. then there is nothing to find on said person. Do you honestly think that the school just hires anyone with out checking them out? They only way they would have found out about him is if they went into his home and checked his computer. I am positive that the district does all that it can to hire the most reliable people. This was not the schools fault. As for firing him I would imagine once all the evidence is in he will be let go. There is a process for everything.
Wendy Pittari August 21, 2012 at 10:13 PM
As a parent of a graduating 5th grader, has the possibility of cameras in the restrooms been considered?
Concerned in Sayville August 22, 2012 at 01:25 AM
are you kidding - another sexual preference? What kind of person has fantasies about kids - there is no reason for an open mind or respect for these people, The only answer is life in prison without the possibility of parole - there is no cure.
my opinion August 22, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Is there are reason he is on PAID leave?? And $66k to mop floors and take out trash?? Should be a minimum wage job, I doubt custodians have college degrees..
patricia pausewang August 22, 2012 at 02:56 PM
He is on paid leave because he has not yet been found quilty in a court of law. You can not just fire someone because they were arrested. It is called innocent until proven guilty for a reason. And before u get all worked up i am sure he will be let go as soon as that conviction is read. As far a your opinion of his Educational degree and his job requirments you sound pretty arrogant. Custodians do more than mop floors and take out trash. You might want to apply for his job and learn just how much he was required to do. Then we will see if you still think custodians deserve minimum wage. And take into acct that he was not new on the job, so that is not his starting salary.
josie August 22, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Know the family, sorry you are wrong!
josie August 22, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Are your schools clean, your grounds well manicured, your electrical, plumbing, heating and repairs done on your schools? I take total offence to your comment, being married to a man who worked for Sayville Schools and have a son who works there also. I find your comment ignorant! Why don't you go get the schools ready for opening day, clean the cafeteria after lunch ( kids really don't care what kind of mess they leave, must be the upbringing) mow and weed wack the grounds when the temps are 95 degrees and above! Don't think you could do it, so maybe think before you speak!
josie August 22, 2012 at 03:25 PM
The district is doing things by the book legally! I am sure all the right actions will be taken, but it's a process, I thought everyone knew that!
CuriousGeorgeNow August 22, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Sorry "my opinion". I know someone very close to me that is a custodian and has a college degree. You can also go into the school he works in and eat off the floors, and I wouldn't want anything less where my kids go to school. What does a college degree have to do with how they do their jobs. I am a successful business person and I do NOT have a college degree. So stop judging others. This guy has NOT be proven guily yet.
josie August 22, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Well said!!
my opinion sayville August 24, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Patricia, josie and curious george: The custodians job can be "held" without him being "paid" while determining his guilt. As for electrical, plumbing and HVAC repairs those are usually sub contracted out to be repaired. Mowing and week wacking in 95 degree weather is rare...lets stick to the facts. If the guy didn't have kiddie porn on his computer he WOULDN"T HAVE BEEN ARRESTED! Suspend w/out pay.
josie August 24, 2012 at 09:06 PM
my opinion, when you get your facts straight we will talk. All you are spewing is "your opinion" I know the workings of the district because my husband worked for them for 26 years and was the shop steward! Maybe you can help me out with this one, if we sub contract out why do we have a plumber, electrician, carpenter etc hired for our district? Facts!!! I also guess you know the workings of the union, I think not. Again the district is handling the matter legally. For the record I am not condoning what he did, I am defending the district from ignorant remarks from prople who don't know what they are talking about!
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