Sayville custodian Shawn Mead is pleading not guilty to a charge of possession of a sexual performance by a child and is due back in First District Court on October 17.
The Patchogue resident, who has worked for the school district for 12 years, most recently as a night custodian at Lincoln Elementary school, was arrested early Tuesday morning.
The Suffolk County District Attorney’s office asked for $200,000 bail at Mead’s arraignment Wednesday but the court set bail at $5,000 or $10,000 bond. A call to Mead’s attorney, Jason Bassett, regarding whether Mead has posted bail and has been released was not returned by press time Thursday morning.
According to the DA, Mead provided Suffolk detectives with both an oral and written statement late Monday night after he turned himself in at the Fifth Precinct. The statement acknowledges downloading and possessing child pornography on Mead’s personal home computer, said the DA’s office.
The 44-year-old’s arrest came as a shock to both school administrators and colleagues who told Patch Mead had been an exemplary employee and hard worker.
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He has been suspended with pay until the investigation is completed, according to district officials. He is salaried at $66,915. District officials said they have scanned all school computers and there is no evidence Mead used the computers. They also stated that as a night custodian he had no interaction with students.
The arrest, according to police, came after the unit conducted an undercover investigation into individuals trading child pornography online.
The charge of possessing a sexual performance by a child is a class E felony, punishable with a maximum sentence of four years in jail.