Beaconsfield deacon William Kokesch pleads guilty to child porn charges

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Beaconsfield deacon William Kokesch pleads guilty to child porn charges

William Kokesch, former deacon of of St. Edmund of Canerbury Parish in Beaconsfield, leaves the Montreal courthouse after being released on bail in 2012.

Photograph by: Allen McInnis , Gazette files

MONTREAL — William Kokesch, a former West Island deacon, had thousands of photos and videos on his computer of children being whipped and raped by adults, as well as sexual fantasy chats with fellow child pornographers.

On Friday, he sat in a Montreal courtroom beside his wife, who held his hand and whispered in his ear until Kokesch, 66, was called to stand before Quebec Court Judge Isabelle Rheault.

The former deacon at St. Edmund of Canterbury Church in Beaconsfield and former communications director for the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops pleaded guilty to possessing, producing and distributing child pornography between September 2011 and November 2012.

He will be back in court May 26 after undergoing a psycho-sexual evaluation for a pre-sentencing report.

Kokesch will be going to jail for at least a year, since that is the minimum sentence for production and distribution of child pornography, but the crown prosecutor could ask for more since the maximum sentence is 10 years.

“He’s going to jail,” said his lawyer, Jeffrey Boro. “The question is for how long, where and what they’re going to do with him.”

Kokesch was caught after Vancouver police found, during an investigation of a child pornographer in their city, online chats between their suspect and a Quebecer, who turned out to be the former deacon, crown prosecutor Dominique Potvin told the court.

Montreal police seized Kokesch’s hard drive and found 99,061 photographs and 2,122 videos of children age 5 and under being raped and whipped by adults, children posing in sexual ways, and in sexual positions with one another. Police also found sexually explicit chats Kokesch had with fellow child pornographers in which they described their fantasies with children.

“The problem with this type of crime is that you don’t realize when you’re doing it that you are doing damage, that if these children were not exploited, we wouldn’t have this type of problem in our society,” Boro said outside the courtroom. “Most of these people don’t believe before they get caught that they’re doing anything so terrible.”

He said his client has had 20 therapy sessions since January 2013 and understands the damage he’s caused.

“He obviously regrets all the pain this has caused his family, his friends, his church and it’s really not an easy thing,” Boro said.

Kokesch, a 66-year-old father of five grown children, has been free on $10,000 bail since his arrest in December 2012 and has to abide by several conditions. He is not to be in the presence of children under the age of 18 unless with an adult who has been informed of his bail conditions. He may not use any computers, cameras or cellphones that could be used to take photos, and he had to remove Internet access from his home.

He is a former journalist who worked at several Montreal media organizations in the 1970s and 1980s, including The Gazette.

The Archdiocese of Montreal removed him from all pastoral and ministry activity once it learned of the arrest.

“As most people who find themselves in this situation, he’s doing okay, he’s coping,” Boro said of his client. “He’s a person who was respected in the community, so to have this public display of what he really is or what kind of problem he really has is not something that anyone would want to see happen.

“When you commit the act, there’s a consequence to it and this is his consequence and something he’s going to have to live with.”

2 Responses to Beaconsfield deacon William Kokesch pleads guilty to child porn charges

  1. Marion says:

    “his wife held his hand and whispered in his ear”
    wondering if she ever saw his computer history…or was he one of the great actors…or was she an accomplice…. is this all about money…or simply zero compassion for the weak and vulnerable…or total control of another because the criminal has no boundaries himself…my God, help me understand this….it is so deeply evil…and there is no penalty…evil covering evil.
    Do they think this is a “human right” and that they were born this way? I wonder what flag they are waving.

    “The problem with this type of crime is that you don’t realize when you’re doing it that you are doing damage, that if these children were not exploited, we wouldn’t have this type of problem in our society,” Boro said outside the courtroom. “Most of these people don’t believe before they get caught that they’re doing anything so terrible.”

    A foggy statement. Then why aren’t they doing it out in the open with other adults around. Statements like these are coverups/copouts… this is not the 1500s.
    But at least he is calling it a “crime”.
    If internet servers are not liable for what is transmitted, then this evil – which is not supposed to be hurting anyone – will never stop.

  2. Concerned Citizen says:

    Kokesch’s children should dump him while they can. If his children have or plan on having children how could they let these children, his grandchildren, be around grandpa knowing that grandpa is eyeing them with lust? He may even be planning to produce pornography with them in it. 99 thousand pictures? Over two thousand videos of children under 5….? Disgusting. And the wife, if she knew, is aiding and abetting a pedophile and should also be charged. Hard to prove and maybe pervert fooled her too. Kokesch says that he deeply regrets hurting others but he is saying that because sociopathic pedophiles will do and say everything that you want to hear. Heck, they will even cry on demand if that will help their cause. They are actors who groom and fool all of those around them, without feeling an iota of guilt or shame or embarrassment. No, instead, they instill all of those difficult emotions into the souls of their victims. They are shame-shifters. Exporting shame onto their victims allowing the predator to sleep soundly, like the land sharks they are. Always hunting for their next victim.

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