Kokesch: Deacon William Kokesch

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William Kokesch

William Kokesch

Deacon, Archdiocese of Montreal.  Married – father of five.  Former journalist and former employee of the Montreal Gazette.  Ordained permanent deacon 1981.  Former communications director for Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops – English Sector  (CCCB).  Heavily involved in World Youth Day organization and activities in Cologne, Toronto, Rome and Paris.  December 2012 – charged with possession and production and distribution of child pornography. October 2013 a further charge of possession added.

21 February 2014:  GUILTY plea

24 March 2015:  Sentenced to two years less a day  At sentencing information was released that just shy of 100,000 photos of nude children and 2,000 videos wore found on Kokesch’s computer. Some of the children between the ages of one and five-years-of-age. It was also learned that Koesch, a married man, father of five and grandfather, chatted online with “other” paedophiles and had claimed in chats that he had had sex with children.  In one such chat Kokesch stated that “he liked being a paedophile.”


Defence lawyer:  Jeffrey Boro.  Judge:  Isabelle Rheault.  Crowns:  Nadine Haviernick, Dominique Potvin


24 March 2015:  “UPDATED: Ex-West Island deacon sentenced for child porn offences” & related article

24 March 2015:  “Former West Island deacon sentenced to jail in child pornography case” with VIDEO

24 March 2015:  Former West Island Deacon sentenced for child pornography

24 March 2015:  William Kokesch, former Montreal deacon, sentenced to 2 years less a day

24 March 2015:  BLOG Two years less a day for Deacon/ former CCCB Director of Communications

24 March 2015:  Montreal deacon in child pornography case gets jail time

26 May 2014:  Pre-sentencing report for West Island child pornographer

21 February 2014:  Beaconsfield deacon William Kokesch pleads guilty to child porn charges

21 February 2014:  West Island Deacon pleads guilty to child pornography charges

14 January 2014:  “Former deacon William Kokesch may plead guilty to porn charges” & related charges

07 October 2013:  “Former deacon faces additional child porn charge” & related articles


24 March 2015:  Sentenced to two years less a day

21 February 2014:  GUILTY plea

07 October 2013:  a third charge related to distribution and possession of child porn added to file (M)

21 December 2012:  arrested (M)

Served as deacon at St. Edmund of Canterbury Church in Beaconsfield

1997:  Part of Canadian Delegation to Rome for the Synod of Americas

1995-2005:  English sector Director of Communications for the CCCB (M)

 Coordinator of World Youth Day 2005 activities in Cologne, Germany (Previously assisted with World Youth Day activities in Toronto, Rome and Paris)

2002:  World Youth Day Toronto

1981:  ordained as a permanent deacon (CCCD)

1970s:  reporter with Montreal Gazette, then worked as radio reporter (M)


Deacon William Kokesch released on bail

Police receive tips relating child-porn charges

The Montreal Gazette

27 December 2012

By Monique Beaudin and Marian Scott, THE GAZETTE December 27, 2012

MONTREAL – A West Island church deacon facing child-pornography charges was granted bail Thursday, as Montreal police said they are investigating new information related to his case.

William Kokesch, 65, was released on $10,000 bail with several restrictions imposed by a judge.

He was arrested Friday after police seized more than 2,000 computer files and messages left on Internet chat sites while executing search warrants at his home and the Beaconsfield church where he served as a deacon.

Kokesch has been charged with production and distribution of child pornography. Crown Prosecutor Dominique Potvin said Kokesch also will be charged with possession of child pornography.

Wearing a grey sweater, jeans and glasses, Kokesch stood with his wrists handcuffed as Quebec Court Judge Louise Villemure told him he would be released from jail.

She imposed several conditions, including that he not be in the presence of children under the age of 18 unless an adult who has been informed of his bail conditions is present, not use any computers, or cameras or cellphones that could be used to take photos, and remove Internet access from his home.

There is a publication ban on evidence presented at Kokesch’s bail hearing.

Potvin said the fact that the Crown went ahead with a bail hearing shows that it believed there were good reasons for Kokesch to be detained. He said the conditions put in place by the judge are normal in this kind of case.

“There are restrictive conditions, and we hope it will be all right,” he said.

Defence lawyer Jeffrey Boro said he does not think Kokesch is a risk to the community.

“I believe the type of crime he is charged with is somewhat personal and he’s not been charged with having molested children or any sexual activity whatsoever,” Boro said.

Kokesch has no criminal record, Boro said, describing his client as “a good family man.” Kokesch is married with five adult children, and his family supports him, Boro said. His wife and son were present at the bail hearing.

Boro said there were concerns for Kokesch’s safety because he was threatened, spit at and shoved around while he was being transported to a court date earlier this week.

“This type of crime is not well viewed by the general prison population so I think he would have had certain problems once he got back to jail,” he said.

Montreal police say people have provided them with new information since photographs of Kokesch were published on the weekend. Spokesperson Constable Danny Richer said anyone with information can contact police either at their local police station or by calling Info-Crime at 514-393-1133.

At this point, Richer said, there is nothing to lead police to believe there are victims in the case, but, he added, the investigation is ongoing.

Kokesch was a deacon at St. Edmund of Canterbury Church in Beaconsfield and a former communications director for the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. He is a former journalist who worked at several Montreal media organizations in the 1970s and 1980s, including The Gazette.

On Saturday, the Archdiocese of Montreal removed him from all pastoral and ministry activity.

“I don’t think anybody could be more shocked than we are,” said Janet Brisse, a warden at the church on Beaconsfield Blvd. at St. Charles Blvd. where Kokesch was active as a deacon until his arrest.

His duties included delivering homilies during the mass, assisting with baptisms, and helping on a committee to raise funds for a South American church that needs a new parish hall, church members said.

The archdiocese has assigned an additional priest to St. Edmund’s to fill in temporarily for Kokesch, who was active at the church both weekdays and on Sundays, Brisse said.

Brisse declined to comment on whether the charges against Kokesch will further tarnish the reputation of the Roman Catholic Church, already shaken by sexual-abuse scandals.

“Everybody has free will. If he did (commit a crime), it’s not the church that made him do it,” she said.

Brisse described Kokesch as friendly and well-liked.

“As little as I knew him, I have nothing except pleasant memories,” she said.

Warden Peter Geukers said Kokesch’s arrest has not affected him.

“It doesn’t affect me if somebody is a sinner,” said Geukers, 87, who has been involved with the parish since 1956.

“It’s very sad. I personally would pray for him if he did a crime,” said Geukers. He said Kokesch’s duties did not include working directly with children, except during mass.

Geukers described Kokesch as an excellent speaker whose homilies were much appreciated.

Deacon Phil Dunn said he couldn’t believe his ears when he heard of the charges against Kokesch. “It’s been a shakeup for all of us,” said Dunn, 89.

“It must be a very difficult time for his family,” he added.




Quebec deacon facing child porn charges gets bail

William Kokesch must put up $10,000 and stay away from children

CBC News

Posted: Dec 27, 2012 2:05 PM ET

Last Updated: Dec 27, 2012 9:04 PM ET

Video Content

William Kokesch, 65, was granted bail

A Quebec deacon charged with producing and distributing child pornography was granted bail today.

The judge told William Kokesch, 65, he will have to deposit $10,000 cash with the court.

He is not allowed to use computers and must not be in the presence of anyone under the age of 18 without another adult’s supervision.

The deacon from Montreal’s West Island has been behind bars since he was arrested on Friday.

At the defence’s request, the judge granted a publication ban on today’s proceedings, which means that evidence and testimony offered in court cannot be reported.

Defence lawyer Jeffrey Boro said his client will comply with his strict bail restrictions.

He said Kokesch would also be seeking professional help.

“Because of the nature of the accusation, there will be some therapy that will be looked at,” said Boro.

The prosecution, however, said it’s not ruling out appealing the judge’s decision to grant Kokesch bail.

“There are restrictive conditions,” said Crown prosecutor Dominique Potvin. “Of course, we will study the decision to see if we don’t have to introduce another process as a revision of the bail that was granted today.”

Kokesch was charged Saturday via video link after police searched his west-end home a day earlier.

Montreal police Const. Danny Richer said today that authorities have received more tips since Kokesch’s photo was made public.

Richer said people have been coming forward since Kokesch’s photo was made public.

“Some people have called InfoCrime Montreal to give some information and other people came to any police station in Montreal. So investigators have received new information,” he said.

Kokesch, a deacon for a church in the Montreal suburb of Beaconsfield, was relieved of his duties after charges were laid

Police said investigators seized more than 2,000 child porn images from his home.

Kokesch is set to return to court on Feb. 27.


CCCB Annual Plenary Assembly Begins in Cornwall

Tuesday, October 19 2004

(Cornwall – CCCB) Archbishop Brendan M. O’Brien of St. John’s, Nfld., the president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), yesterday told more than 80 bishops gathered in Cornwall, Ontario, for the CCCB annual Plenary meeting that the past year was filled with many challenges for the Church in Canada.

“The past few months have also been major moments in other controversies involving ethical and human concerns,” he said. “These debates are about the basic values and principles that shape the lives of individual persons, the welfare of our communities, and the future of society.”

He was referring to the CCCB’s involvement in the debates on new reproductive technologies, the redefinition of marriage, which recently was before the Supreme Court of Canada, and the CCCB reflections on responsibility and discernment which preceded the 2004 federal election.

“These debates are vital for our Church and our society,” he said in his annual report. “They show how secularization continues to open as well as to close doors to discussions on values and principles. They signal that the Christian community is deeply committed to, and concerned about, its mission to be a witness to the world.”

“Despite the current trend that sees human rights simply as various entitlements for individuals, the debates indicate how the dignity of the individual person is inseparable from the welfare of the community and the common good,” he said.

The Apostolic Nuncio to Canada, Archbishop Luigi Ventura, reminded the bishops of the difficulties in proclaiming the Good News in the new millennium.

“The Gospel and those referring to it are perceived as counter-current, and can even sometimes become objects of marginalization,” he said. “The task of announcing the goodness of the evangelical message is entrusted to witnessing and persevering in ecclesial communion.”

The Plenary assembly also received an interim report from the Special Taskforce on the Review of From Pain to Hope, the CCCB guidelines on sexual abuse. Taskforce co-chairmen Archbishop James Weisgerber of Winnipeg and Bishop Eugène Tremblay of Amos indicated it would take another year before the Taskforce would file a complete report to the Plenary assembly.

They reported on meetings held over the past year, including some with abuse victims and experts from other organizations involved in working with children. The Taskforce hopes to propose guidelines that will allow for the creation of safe environments for pastoral work, increased transparency in dealing with problems related to sexual abuse, and discerning levels of accountability regarding sexual abuse.

The bishops also heard reports from the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP), the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF) and the Ad Hoc National Committee on Youth and Vocations.

The Plenary assembly continues until Saturday with discussions planned on a number of pastoral issues and financial matters.

The CCCB is the national assembly of the Bishops of Canada. It supports the bishops in their diocesan work through resources and reflections in different areas such as ecumenism, theology, liturgy, social affairs, Christian education and communications. The CCCB is involved in matters of national and international scope, and provides the bishops a forum where they can share their experience and insight on the life of the Church and the major events that shape society

For More information Contact:
Deacon William Kokesch
Director, Communications Service


CCCB Press Release

World Youth Day 2005: CCCB Ensures National Coordination

Wednesday, May 26 2004

(CCCB-Ottawa) The Executive Committee of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has entrusted the Canadian coordination of World Youth Day (WYD) 2005 to the CCCB Communications Service, headed by Deacon William Kokesch and Mr. Sylvain Salvas. The World Youth Day celebrations are to be held in Cologne, Germany, 16-21 August 2005.

Deacon Kokesch and Mr. Salvas are the Directors of the CCCB Communications Service. They both have WYD experience, as they were involved with World Youth Day in Toronto, Rome and Paris. They will also be aided by the expertise of former CCCB Associate General Secretary Mr. Gérald Baril, who will help handle logistics, a task he already carried out in France in 1997 and in Italy in 2000.

The national coordination of WYD 2005 consists mainly of encouraging a strong presence by young Canadian pilgrims for the German celebration, establishing links between the Cologne organizing committee and the CCCB, setting up a Canadian “headquarters” in Cologne for the duration of the six-day event in August 2005, and transmitting information from the WYD 2005 organizing committee to the dioceses of Canada to help them prepare for the event.

With less than 450 days remaining until WYD 2005, most Canadian dioceses are already well underway with their preparations for the event. Many groups have already been established at the local level, and many more are in the process of being organized. Young people who have already not done so should contact their dioceses on how to take part in this event.

World Youth Day is a celebration of faith by young people from around the world who gather at the invitation of the Holy Father. Young pilgrims from more than 160 countries came to Toronto in 2002 to meet one another, share their experiences and faith, and gather together in the presence of the Pope.

For More information Contact:
Deacon William Kokesch
Director, Communications Service


CCCB Press Release

“CCCB Place CECC” at World Youth Day 2002

Wednesday, July 10 2002

(CCCB – Ottawa) – The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) will be present throughout World Youth Day 2002 in facilities at Exhibition Place in Toronto dubbed CCCB Place CECC.

CCCB Place CECC will be used as a gathering place for Canadian diocesan delegations as well as offer the services of the CCCB Secretariat. The facilities will be located in an area where other episcopal conferences from around the world have reception and information areas for their pilgrims.

The CCCB Secretariat will offer support services to the Bishops of Canada attending WYD 2002, and in particular to the members of the CCCB Executive Committee and Permanent Council, as hosts of WYD 2002.

The CCCB Secretariat will be headed up by General Secretary Msgr. Peter Schonenbach, Associate General Secretary Benoit Bariteau, Communications Service directors Sylvain Salvas and Deacon Bill Kokesch, Christian Unity and Interfaith Relations Director Sister Donna Geernaert, S.C., Jonas Abromaitis of the National Office for Religious Education, and Mrs. Louise Mainville and Mrs. Thérèse Dupuis of the CCCB General Secretariat.

Several young WYD volunteers will also be assisting at CCCB Place CECC.

In addition, CCCB Publications will also have an information booth at Exhibition Place.

For More information Contact:
Deacon William Kokesch
Director, Communications Service


CCCB Press Release

Synod for America began Sunday November 16

Thursday, November 13 1997

(Ottawa – CCCB) His Holiness Pope John Paul II opens the Synod of Bishops’ Special Assembly for America Sunday November 16 by celebrating Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica with more than 233 bishops and others participating in the Synod. Fourteen Canadian bishops were among the concelebrants at the Mass.

The Synod, which runs until December 12, also brings together priests, laity and religious from the Americas. Its theme is Encounter with the Living Jesus Christ: The Way to Conversion, Communion and Solidarity in America. Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte, Archbishop of Montreal and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), says the Synod, with delegates from some of the richest and poorest countries of the world, will look at questions of social justice, international economic relations and the major differences that exist between the peoples of the North and the South. Cardinal Turcotte hopes this special assembly, focused on a new evangelization, will help build solidarity throughout the Church in North, South and Central America.

Canadian Participation

The Canadian delegates will make presentations on 14 topics including the family, the global economy and the culture of life. They are also expected to speak on women in the church, the environment, First Nations peoples and native spiritualities, new religious movements, media, Gospel and culture, missionary links between Canada and Latin America, global solidarity, ministries and parish life, priesthood and vocations, and post-immigration Catholicism.

Canadian Delegation

Twenty-four people make up the Canadian team in Rome. They include:

Synod members: Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte of Montreal; Archbishop Michael Bzdel, CSsR, of the Ukrainian Archeparchy of Winnipeg; Archbishop Maurice Couture of Quebec; Archbishop Roger Ébacher of Gatineau-Hull; Archbishop André Gaumond of Sherbrooke; Archbishop Marcel Gervais of Ottawa; Archbishop Henri Goudreault, OMI, of Grouard-McLennan; Archbishop Francis J. Spence of Kingston; Archbishop Peter A. Sutton, OMI, of Keewatin-Le Pas; Bishop Jacques Berthelet, CSV, of St. Jean-Longueuil; Bishop Raymond Lahey of St. George’s; Bishop Anthony Tonnos of Hamilton; Bishop Gerald Wiesner, OMI, of Prince George; Bishop James Wingle of Yarmouth; and Father Emilius Goulet, PSS, CCCB French-language general secretary.

Synod experts: Msgr. Louis Dicaire, episcopal vicar at the Archdiocese of Montreal; and Rev. Pierre Gaudette, professor of moral theology at Laval University.

Synod observers: Harry Lafond, First Nations Chief of the Meskeg Lake Band in Saskatchewan, Father François Lapierre, superior General of the Quebec-based Foreign Mission Society; Sister Hélène Robitaille of the Daughters of Wisdom and general secretary of the Canadian Religious Conference; and Mrs. Bernadette Tourangeau, member of the International Catechetical Commission and executive director of the CCCB National Office or Religious Education.

CCCB resource persons: Father Ronald Rolheiser, OMI, former provincial of St. Mary’s Province of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate; and Dr. Sylvia Santin, former general secretary of the Ontario Conference of Catholic Bishops and a family life consultant in the Archdiocese of Toronto.

CCCB support staff: Mr. Bede Hubbard, CCCB English-language assistant general secretary, and Rev. Mr. William Kokesch, CCCB English-language Communications Service Director. Also present in Rome and acting as a member of the Synod staff is Mr. Gérald Baril, CCCB French-language assistant general secretary. He is the Synod spokesperson for French-language media.

For More Information Contact:
Deacon William Kokesch
Director, Communications Service


Not all Gazette reporters come to a bad end.

The Montreal Gazette

28 October 1995

Harvey Shepherd

Rev. William Kokesch, 48, who toiled in this vineyard between 1973 and 1978 before being lured into the electronic media, is the new English-language director of public information for the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Kokesch, whose most recent previous job was with CBC television in Montreal, has been on the job since last month. I had a few of his press releases in front of me as I wrote this column.

Bill still lives in Pointe Claire with his wife, Evelyn Hachey, and their five children.

He tells me he can make it from his house to the Ottawa offices of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops faster than he used to be able to do some mornings to Maison Radio-Canada in east-central Montreal.

Some of you may be wondering how the “Rev.” jibes with the wife and kids, since Catholic priests are almost always unmarried. Kokesch was ordained in the diocese of Montreal in 1981 as a “permanent deacon.”

While Roman Catholic deacons in recent centuries have generally been men preparing for the priesthood, since the 1960s some dioceses have restored the practice of ordaining some men, who may be married when ordained, as deacons for life. They are expected to approach their secular jobs as ministries. At mass, they may wear distinctive vestments and assist the priest, but they may not celebrate mass on their own.

Kokesch, a native of Vancouver, succeeds Dennis Gruending, who left the bishops’ conference in September to devote all his time to writing, and Sheila George, who filled in for a year while Gruending was on a study leave.



Next court date:  24 March 2015 09:30 am, for sentencing, Montreal Quebec courthouse (1, rue Notre-Dame Est) ; 19 February 2015: 09:30 am, for sentencing, Montreal Quebec courthouse (1, rue Notre-Dame Est) ; 23 January 2015:  2:30 pm, for sentencing, Montreal Quebec courthouse (1, rue Notre-Dame Est); 16 October 2014 – postponed Sentencing, Montreal courthouse ; 26 May 2014:  sentencing hearing, Montreal Quebec courthouse ; 21 February 2014:  09: 00 am, courtroom # 406;, Montreal Quebec courthouse for TRIAL14 January 2013:  to set trial date, Montreal Quebec courthouse ; 07 October 2013:  09:00 am, courtroom # 406, “to set a date,” Montreal courthouse, Montreal, Quebec18 July 2013: 09:00 am, courtroom #406, “pro forma,” Montreal courthouse, Montreal, Quebec; 27 February 2013

11 Responses to Kokesch: Deacon William Kokesch

  1. Sylvia says:

    I unfortunately missed this. Deacon Kokesch had a court date in Montreal today. Does anyone know what happened?

  2. Sylvia says:

    The next court date for Deacon William Kokesch is:

    18 July 2013: 09:00 am, courtroom #406, “pro forma.” I don’t know exactly what “pro forma” means ? Can anyone with knowledge of the courts in Quebec help?

  3. Sylvia says:

    The next court date for Deacon William Kokesch is:

    07 October 2013: 09:00 am, courtroom # 406, “to set a date,” Montreal courthouse, Montreal, Quebec

  4. Sylvia says:

    I was checking courtdates – discovered that Deacon William Kokesch’s court-date of 21 February 2014 is for TRIAL. I was unable to find out how many days the trial is scheduled to run. I will work at that tomorrow – language is a bit of a problem for me so cross fingers that I can find my way to the right party in the courthouse 🙂

    The info I have for now is :

    21 February 2014: 09:00 am, courtroom #406, Montreal, Quebec courthouse (1, rue Notre-Dame Est, Montréal)

  5. Sylvia says:

    Deacon Kokesch’s sentencing date of 16 October was postponed. I have no idea why and no further information. A new date has not yet been set. I am to try again next week – so will call next week and hopefully get a new sentencing date.

  6. Sylvia says:

    Deacon William Kokesch’s sentencing date has been set:

    23 January 2015 2:30 pm, for sentencing, Montreal Quebec courthouse (1, rue Notre-Dame Est)

    (Kokesch entered a guilty plea to child porn charges February 2014.)

  7. Sylvia says:

    Deacon William Kokesch sentencing date is:

    19 February 2015: 09:30 am. for sentencing, Montreal Quebec courthouse (1, rue Notre-Dame Est)

  8. Sylvia says:

    Deacon William Kokesch’s next sentencing date is:

    24 March 2015: 09:30 am, for sentencing, Montreal Quebec courthouse (1, rue Notre-Dame Est)

  9. Michel B says:

    this article states he was employed with CBC late seventies to early 80s but does not identify Sudbury as location hope that helps


  10. Ann E says:

    He has been released and seen at a church mission recently in the West Island of Montreal. Is he a registered sex offender?

  11. Sylvia says:

    Thanks Ann. I don’t think he is a registered sex offender. There is no mention of having him obligated to register in any of the media coverage of sentencing.

    According to a 24 March 2015 CTV

    His sentence is 12 months for distribution of child pornography, 14 months for the publication of child pornography, and two years less a day for possession of child pornography, with all three sentences to be served concurrently.

    Following his release Kokesch will be on probation for three years, and will be subjected to a ten year ban on using the internet or being near children under the age of 16


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