Global News Toronto
Global Television Reporters – Montreal By Domenic Fazioli Reporter Global News
24 March 2015
MONTREAL — William Kokesch arrived at the Montreal Courthouse Tuesday morning ready and prepared.
Holding a duffel bag, the 68-year-old walked into a courtroom and faced a sentencing judge.
Kokesch, a former deacon on Montreal’s West Island, was ordered to serve two years less a day in prison for possession, distribution and production of child pornography.
Prosecutor Nadine Haviernick used the word “phenomenal” to describe the number of images and videos of children found on Kokesch’s home computer.
William Kokesch pleaded guilty to three criminal charges relating to child pornography on February 21, 2014. Former West Island deacon pleads guilty to child porn charges
Former West Island deacon William Kokesch. West Island deacon William Kokesch removed from post after child pornography charges
Acting on a tip from Vancouver police, investigators in Quebec raided Kokesch’s Pointe-Claire home in December 2012.
Cops uncovered close to 100,000 photos of nude children, as well as another 2,000 videos.
At the time of his arrest, Kokesch was a member of the St. Edmund of Cantebury Parish in Beaconsfield.
He also worked for the Catholic Association of Bishops.
Defence lawyer Jeffrey Boro told reporters on Tuesday his client had a “troubled childhood,” and this was a trigger for his paedophilia.
“When you have a difficult childhood, it sometimes manifests itself in acts such as the one Mr. Kokesch pleaded guilty to,” Boro said.
Boro added his client has been in therapy since his arrest.
“It’s very doubtful that he will re-offend in this area,” he added.
On Tuesday, Kokesch offered an apology to the court.
He said he had “deep remorse for his friends and family” and he thanked his “extraordinary, loving wife.”
New details of his criminal case were also made public in Tuesday’s sentencing hearing.
On his home computer, police said they uncovered troubling online chats Kokesch had with other paedophiles.
In one exchange, Kokesch stated that “he liked being a paedophile” and even claimed to have had sex with children.
Montreal police have launched a separate investigation.
Global News has learned Kokesch’s five children and some of his grandchildren were questioned as part of the probe.
Child abuse charges were not filed.
William Kokesch’s defence lawyer said these claims were just “fantasy.”
Read the letter to the judge from Kokesch in full below:
March 18, 2015
Notes for the judge
I wish to use this occasion to publicly express my deep remorse and regret for the actions which have led to my being here before you. The past 27 months have allowed me to recognize the source of character flaws that played a role in what I did. Through the help and support of an extraordinary loving wife, some close friends and neighbours, my family, self-help groups and the professional and spiritual counseling I am undergoing, I have grown greatly as a person, rebuilding my life into one that is wholesome and good.
Through this all, I never lost my faith. In fact my belief in God has become even stronger. My marriage is stronger than it has ever been. I love my wife dearly.
I wish to apologize to all people for the damage I may have caused them including those that it is impossible to reach out to.
I appeal to anyone in a similar situation as mine was to please find help. Seek counselling, whether through a therapist, clergy person, trusted friend or self-help group. Seek help, for this is a very debilitating illness for which there is much hope and recovery. If I can find it, they can find it.
I am a much different person today than 27 months ago. In coming to terms with what I did, I wish to pledge my intention to reach out and help those who need help. I don’t have a plan or format yet to carry this out, other than through existing self-help groups and with the advice of professionals.
Finally, I wish to sincerely apologize for my actions to this court, to my wife, to my family, my friends and colleagues, my neighbours and my church community whose trust and respect I broke. I also wish to apologize for those images I used as common currency that fed my habit. I am truly, truly very sorry.