Image: Wayne Nelson Corliss
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Wayne Nelson Corliss was arrested last week in Union City, N.J.
updated 5/12/2008 6:23:43 PM ET 2008-05-12T22:23:43

A small-time New Jersey actor accused of traveling to Thailand to have sex with underage boys was denied bail on Monday.

U.S. District Court Judge Michael A. Schipp ordered Wayne Nelson Corliss of Union City to remain in jail, saying that he was a flight risk and a danger to the community.

Corliss, 58, was arrested Thursday at his Union City home after an international manhunt. Interpol released photos of him last week and asked for the public's help in identifying him.

Corliss is charged with producing child pornography. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee Vartan said images show Corliss abusing at least three young Asian boys during three trips to Thailand between 2000 and 2002. Vartan said Corliss confessed to having sex with children during a 2002 visit.

As evidence that Corliss made the trips with the intent of producing child pornography, Vartan said that Corliss brought a children's-sized "I (heart) NY" shirt to Thailand, which appeared on one child in a series of pornographic images.

Prosecutors' request to deny bail went uncontested by Corliss' court-appointed attorney, Chester Keller.

Friends and associates were shocked by the allegations against Corliss, who worked painting faces at children's parties and used to dress up as Santa Claus.

Teri Paris, an old friend of Corliss who attended Monday's hearing, said the charges bore no relation to the man she had worked with in entertainment for more than 30 years.

"He looked very scared in there," said Paris. "He's a marvelous person. He needs help."

If convicted, Corliss faces 10 to 20 years in prison.

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