Christmas in jail for West Island deacon, bail delayed
MONTREAL—At the Montreal courthouse on Christmas Eve, former West Island deacon William Kokesch learned that his bail hearing was delayed and he would spend the holidays behind bars.
Kokesch was arrested on Friday by the Montreal police at his Pointe-Claire home and charged with the production and possession of child pornography. Police alleged that over 2,000 pornographic photos were found on the man’s home computer.
With his bail postponed until Dec. 27, Kokesch also announced on Monday that he had taken on the services of high-profile lawyer Jeffrey Boro.
“Bail is always a struggle when the crown objects. I think it's bailable but the judge always has the final word,” said Boro, who will use the extra time to prepare his case.
The prosecution will fight against his release because of the seriousness of the accusations. Kokesch is accused of allegedly producing child pornography between Sept. 10, 2011 Nov. 6, 2012.
“We have grounds under section 5:15 to object based on the evidence but of course I cannot comment on the evidence,” said crown prosecutor Dominique Potvin.
The 65-year-old was a consultant for the Catholic Church in St-Edmund’s parish for the past seven year and was the spokesman for Canadian Conference of Bishops until 2006.
In a statement on Saturday, the Archdiocese of Montreal stripped Kokesch of all pastoral activities and said it was “profoundly upset” with the charges.
“Child pornography is an affront to human dignity and our first concern rests with those who are its victims,” the archdiocese said in its statement.
According to sources close to CTV Montreal, Kokesch’s alleged production of child pornography was limited to written materials, believed to be a number of emails.
If found guilty, the former deacon could face up to 14 years in jail, however due to his lack of prior criminal record, he could face the newly established mandatory minimum of one year.