A deacon with the Archdiocese of Montreal has been arrested on multiple charges related to child pornography.
A prominent West Island deacon who used to speak publicly about sexual crimes has been charged with the production and distribution of child pornography following a police investigation. William Kokesch, a 65-year-old deacon of St. Edmund of Canterbury Parish in Beaconsfield, was arrested Friday after police carried out two search warrants — one at his home in Pointe Claire and the other at the church. The Archdiocese of Montreal announced on Saturday that it immediately removed Kokesch from all ministry and pastoral activity. “Having just learned of the charges against Mr. Kokesch, the diocese is profoundly upset,” it said in a statement. “Child pornography is an affront to human dignity, and our first concern rests with those who are its victims.” Police seized more than 2,000 computer files as well as messages left on chat-room sites on the Internet.
In 2005 Kokesch worked with the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and headed the Canadian delegation to Catholic World Youth Day in Germany.