|Thursday, 06 November 2008 13:27|
Bryan Charles Kocis
Born: May 28, 1962
Died: January 24, 2007
Cause of death: Stabbed.
Notable because: Boy Scout goes from rags to riches through gay porn. Business rivalry lead to vicious stabbing followed by body burning.
Bryan Kocis also known as Bryan Phillips, was the founder of and director for the gay pornographic film studio, Cobra Video
Bryan Charles Kocis was born and raised in Larksville, Pennsylvania. He was a member of the Boy Scouts and attained the rank of Eagle Scout from Troop 247 in 1979. He attended Wyoming Valley West High School winning several scholarships, graduating in 1980. He was winner of a nationwide photography contest. He attended the Rochester Institute of Technology. Upon graduation from RIT, he held a specialized position as a biomedical photographer for a local eye doctor in Kingston, Pennsylvania until the mid 1990s.
Dissatisfied with his situation after his employer merged with another office in the mid-1990s, he left and tried his hand at several "legitimate" businesses. Each failed. His low point occurred in December 2001, when Kocis declared bankruptcy in federal court, hoping to eliminate $222,800 of debt mostly from credit cards and loans. Soon after resolving his legal troubles, though, interest in Kocis’ internet pornography products apparently boomed.
In the five years after his bankruptcy, he amassed a personal fortune that included a Maserati convertible, a BMW sport utility and a high-end, V8 Aston Martin. According to deeds filed in the Luzerne County Courthouse, in addition to his Dallas Township home, Kocis owned adjacent Rice Township parcels. One acquired for $159,900 in 2004 and another bought for $225,000 in 2006. The documents show no mortgages against the properties. Neighbors said Kocis claimed he paid the full cash amount upfront for both.
In 2002, police found a videotape of Bryan Kocis, then 39, and a 15-year-old boy in his home. Kocis met the boy on the internet and transported him to his hometown. Kocis pled guilty to one count of Sexual Abuse of a Child. He was initially charged with child pornography, and transportation of a minor for sexual purposes. Since the boy had lied about his age Kocis was given a probation sentence.
In 2006 a judge signed paperwork changing Kocis' charge from sex assault to corruption of minors. Kocis' former attorney, Al Flora, said the change was made because the original charge of sexual assault of a child was a mistake and that, "We didn't realize there was an error until 2006." Flora said his former client was a legitimate businessman and not at all a pedophile. Kocis was not required to be registered as a Megan's Law offender.
Kocis was found dead on January 24, 2007, after a fire at his home. According to the coroner investigating the death, Kocis was stabbed 28 times and his throat was cut, nearly decapitating him, then his body left in the house which was set on fire. A folding-style knife was found nearby. Officials had to use dental records to identify Kocis, because his body was burned beyond recognition.
On the night of Kocis' death, police stated that they believed he was expecting to meet with a "new model." Police further revealed that Kocis had e-mailed some photos of the alleged new model to "an associate" whom he notified of the upcoming meeting. That associate then contacted police after the murder and provided e-mails to them to aid them in their investigation. Police released at least one of those photos to the public on February 2, 2007 Within 24-hours; various blogs reporting this murder within their respective communities identified this man as an escort working for Norfolk Companions, Inc; a Virginia-based escort service. The escort, who goes by the name "Harlow" has been identified in other blogs as potentially being the proprietor of the same company; listed in the Virginia business licenses office as "Harlow Cuadra."
This meeting was to occur at Kocis' Luzerne County home according to newspapers in the area.
John Yates, a California attorney representing Sean Lockhart (Brent Corrigan), a former model of Cobra Video's that had been involved with a lengthy and rather public legal dispute, said January 25, 2007 that police were trying to locate that man. A "light-colored" SUV was seen leaving the scene and was sought by police.
Kocis and Lockhart had been embroiled in a bitter legal dispute since parting ways in 2005. Yates also represented Grant Roy and Lee Bergeron; others named in a suit Kocis filed in federal court. Police have interviewed or plan to interview several of Yates’ clients, including Lockhart. On January 30, 2007, Yates stated Lockhart was seeking the counsel of a criminal attorney first.
Believing the killer or killers had a “personal association” with Kocis, the Luzerne County District Attorney’s office sought all of the electronic communication of the 44-year-old during the week prior to his death. Police theorized Kocis' text messages, e-mails and voice mails would lead them to whomever committed the murder.
On May 15, 2007, two Virginia Beach escorts, Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes, were charged with Kocis' murder. Police arrested the pair after discovering evidence on Kocis' computer hard drive, which survived the fire. Police theorize they killed Kocis because they wanted to work with Sean Lockhart, an actor who was under contract to Kocis. According to police, in a January meeting, Cuadra alluded to killing Kocis if necessary in order to go into production with Lockhart. Cuadra emailed Kocis, assuming the identity of an aspiring porn actor, and arranged to meet Kocis on 24 January, 2007. In the email, he asked if they could meet alone. Cuadra and Kerekes were also shown on surveillance cameras buying a gun and knife at a local pawn shop. The knife is consistent with the one which was used to stab Kocis. Additionally, police have audio recordings of Cuadra saying, "Actually seeing that fucker going down, it's actually sick, but it made me feel better inside. It almost felt like I got revenge and I know that sounds fucked up". In a search of the pair's home, police also found video equipment which they believe belonged to Kocis.
The pair claim they are innocent, and have set up a MySpace page to state their case.
At the preliminary hearing on 2007-08-27, a judge ruled that prosecutors had presented enough compelling evidence against the pair to warrant them being held for trial. A total of 14 witnesses, including two medical examiners, were questioned. Additionally, the judge ruled that there was insufficient evidence to charge the pair with robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery. This means that prosecutors cannot seek the death penalty.
Bryan Kocis established Cobra Video in 2001, concentrating on the production of gay movies starring young twinks, exclusively in the 18-23 age category, engaged in either solo masturbation scenes or, mainly, bareback sex. Kocis cast and directed all Cobra productions until the time of his death.
In August 2003 through February 2004, Kocis cast Sean Lockhart, a young model, in Cobra's Every Poolboy's Dream giving him the stage name of "Brent Corrigan". Corrigan quickly went on to become the most famous, and most lucrative, of Kocis' stable of actors.
On September 13, 2005, Corrigan's attorney announced publicly that Corrigan was underage when he filmed those scenes for Cobra Video, and had used a fake ID to participate in those scenes. Corrigan went on to state that Kocis was aware of his underage status. Cobra denied that they were ever aware of such allegations and publicly stated that they had copies of Corrigan's ID's claiming a birth year of 1985. A civil lawsuit between the two parties erupted soon after.
Kocis, through Cobra Video, issued a statement saying that it had copies of legal identification proving Corrigan was old enough to legally work in the industry and that their current "...requests for a State-certified birth certificate of Mr. Lockart from Mr. Lockhart's attorney have been rejected." Kocis went on to file a civil and a federal suit against Lockhart in Federal Court in San Diego, CA, thru Cobra Video LLC for trademark violations, cybersquatting, breach of contract, and other disputes. The suit also sought to prevent him from using his stage name of "Brent Corrigan" because Cobra Video claims the name as a protected trademark. The matter was being adjudicated but settlement talks appear to have reached an apex on or around January of 2007. A final hearing in the matter was scheduled for February 21st, 2007.
On October 9, 2006, Lockhart launched BrentCorriganOnline.com a private, members-only site in an attempt to "go solo." However, On October 11, 2006, they announced that online payment coordinator, CCBill had cancelled their contract--thereby preventing them from charging for their content. Statements on this site attribute the cancellation to "pressure" from Kocis.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 December 2008 16:26|