Thursday, July 19, 2007

Kerekes: Sunglasses hid ‘bug’

Gay porn star Sean Lockhart never removed his sunglasses while visiting Black’s Beach outside San Diego, Calif., despite the cloudy weather on April 28.

Joseph Kerekes, one of two men accused in the slaying of local gay film producer Bryan Kocis, believes investigators hid a tiny microphone in Lockhart’s sunglasses recording alleged incriminating statements about the murder.

“I’m not afraid of what they heard,” Kerekes, 33, said during a jailhouse interview at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility on Wednesday.

Kerekes openly talked about the case against him and his partner, Harlow Cuadra, and touched upon his homosexuality that has made him money as an escort and producer of gay pornographic movies.

The investigation of Kocis’ death on Jan. 24 took a dramatic turn when investigators secretly recorded conversations Kerekes and Cuadra had with Lockhart, also known as Brent Corrigan, and his partner, Grant Roy, at Black’s Beach.

Cuadra told Lockhart that he was inside Kocis’ Dallas Township home the night Kocis was killed, according to arrest papers.

Less than three weeks after the visit to the beach, investigators filed criminal homicide and related charges against Kerekes and Cuadra.

“The speaker was in sunglasses Brent wore at the beach. It was cloudy out and he never took those glasses off,” Kerekes said.

Kerekes and Cuadra had traveled to San Diego to discuss a business partnership with Lockhart and Roy in filming gay pornographic movies, a topic they previously had discussed at an adult video news convention, known as an AVN, in Las Vegas, Nev., in mid-January.

Lockhart was under contract with Kocis’ company, Cobra Video, using the stage name Brent Corrigan. The contract prevented him from using the Corrigan name or filming for another production company.

After the Las Vegas meeting, Kerekes said Cuadra set up a meeting with Kocis using a fictitious name in hopes of “winning him over” to their business proposal with Lockhart, Kerekes said.
Kerekes said they feared Kocis would have rejected their plan because Kocis mainly worked with young men between 18 and 21 years old, and would see Cuadra, 25, as too old for Cobra Video’s target audience.

In addition, Kerekes said male escorts – Kerekes and Cuadra owned Norfolk Male Escorts – are considered “taint” in the gay porn business.

“We got back from the AVN and we were in our office. We have a large office with 40 computers and I was updating advertising for our (Web site) and Harlow was on the other side and did his thing,” Kerekes said. “He set up an account using the name Danny Moilin and e-mailed Bryan with a picture.

“Bryan instantly e-mailed back asking to send more pictures and pictures in different positions. So Harlow did all that,” Kerekes said.

Investigators say in arrest papers that Kocis received an application and pictures from Danny Moilin on Jan. 22, a week after the Las Vegas adult video news convention.

For the next few days, investigators claim that Cuadra and Kocis exchanged e-mails and arranged to meet at Kocis’ home at 7 p.m. Jan. 24.

Kerekes doesn’t deny that they were in the area when Kocis was killed. He claims they arrived in the area checking into the Fox Ridge Inn on state Route 315 in Plains Township on Jan. 23, grabbing a bite to eat at Kentucky Fried Chicken.

On Jan. 24, Kerekes said they ate at Friendly’s, visited a gym near their motel, went to Wal-Mart, where they purchased supplies to go camping, and bought a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne that they drank inside their motel room, Kerekes said.

Kerekes said Cuadra left the motel room at 6:30 p.m. to meet with Kocis. Kerekes stayed at the motel using his laptop computer to access his Yahoo e-mail.

“That will show I was at the inn,” Kerekes said.

Kerekes said Cuadra called him when he arrived at Kocis’ home at about 7 p.m. He said he was surprised when Cuadra immediately called him after a few minutes saying he was leaving.
“Harlow called and said something was wrong and that he was leaving. He said, ‘I can’t talk about it on the phone, I’ll be there in a few minutes,’ ” Kerekes said.

Kerekes said Cuadra arrived at the motel room and they quickly checked out. They drove onto the Pennsylvania Turnpike when Kerekes said Cuadra told him what he saw at Kocis’ home.

“Harlow said he got there the door was partially open. He looked inside and saw an overturned table and smelled smoke. He said he saw someone on a couch or chair, and heard a noise upstairs, like someone was about to come down,” Kerekes said.

Dallas Township firefighters responded to Kocis’ home at about 8:30 p.m., about 90 minutes after Kerekes said Cuadra arrived and quickly left the home.

Firefighters found Kocis’ body on a couch in the front living room.

Investigators suspect the fire was started to cover up the murder.

An autopsy showed Kocis was stabbed 28 times and suffered a slashed throat. Investigators surmised that Kocis had invited someone inside his home because he had no defensive wounds on his hands or arms, according to court records.

Kerekes said their plans were only to form a business relationship with Kocis. They used their driver’s licenses to check into the motel and the gym.

“We weren’t afraid to use our driver’s license because we didn’t kill that poor man,” Kerekes said.

Kocis’ e-mails recovered from computers inside his home produced a photograph of a man who was later identified as Cuadra.

Kerekes said he and Cuadra became concerned when the investigation centered on them. They leased a condo for a year in South Beach, Miami, Fla., where they stayed for much of February, March and April. They were at a Virginia Beach hotel when investigators searched their Virginia Beach home on Feb. 10.

The two men were arrested by Virginia Beach authorities as fugitives from justice on May 15, the same day investigators filed criminal homicide and related charges against them with District Judge James E. Tupper in Trucksville. They fought extradition for more than a month until they gave up their right to challenge a warrant by Virginia Gov. Tim Raines on June 27.
Kerekes said the jail at Luzerne County Correctional Facility is more accommodating and open than the jail in Virginia Beach, where he was held in solitary confinement and shackled whenever he was moved.

“At least here I’m in the general inmate population,” he said.

Kerekes said he has been escorting since he was 21, and met Cuadra in a Yahoo Internet chat room in 2000. They began escorting together, earning $200 to $300 a client for three hours, and began producing their Web-based gay pornography site in December 2004. He claimed their Web site earned money, but once the business proposal with Lockhart was made known in January, the number of hits and sales skyrocketed.

Cuadra is being held at the Lackawanna County Jail. Both are being held without bail.