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Española jewelry designer facing child porn charge

SANTA FE – An Española store owner and jewelry designer has been charged after several images of child pornography were found on a computer inside his business, which happens to be just yards away from a child day care center.

David Dear, 69, faces one count of sexual exploitation of children and is currently out of jail on a $10,000 unsecured bond, according to court records. He is the owner of David Dear Jewelry on North Paseo de Oñate in Española.

Dear has been described as a “legendary” artist on one local dealer’s website. Dear’s own site says his silver and gold pieces are shown throughout the U.S. and collected globally. His designs, the site says, include belt buckles, concho belts, bracelets, bolo ties, rings and pins that are worn by “movie stars, politicians and famous people throughout the world.”

His pieces are part of the Museum of New Mexico Wheelwright Museum collections, according to the website. “David has judged and worked with the world famous Santa Fe Indian Market, and the Eight Northern Indian Art Show for many years, as well as being a patron of the arts and volunteer for many worthwhile arts and crafts events,” his site says.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, on May 8 a woman who worked at the store told Española Police Department Detective Byron Abeyta that she was told to create brochures for the store and used a computer that was behind a partition in the lobby. The woman said she opened a file on the computer that had about 12 images of children between 6 and 12 years old performing sexual acts with adult males.

She said she quit her job that day.

Abeyta subsequently obtained a search warrant to seize the computer from Dear’s store.

The detective wrote in the affidavit that he “observed the daycare named Creative Kids Childcare Center to be in the same area of the (jewelry) business location and noted that they shared an open dirt parking lot.”

Abeyta was able to find the pornographic images and sent the computer to a forensic laboratory to get more data extracted from it. The forensic report found 21 suspected child pornography images.

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