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Defense: Bryan Kocis Built His Gay Business off the Backs of Barely Legal Young Boys

After a week of jury selection where 12 jurors and 4 alternates were accepted, the capital murder trial of gay porn star Harlow Cuadra began in a Luzerne County, Pennsylvania courtroom Tuesday after numerous delays, reports the Times Leader.

Defense lawyers laid out a vigorous defense in their opening arguments. They claim Cuadra is innocent of the January 2007 killing of rival gay porn producer Bryan Kocis, 44 [pictured]. Kocis, who once filed bankruptcy, built a porn empire peddling twink boys in bareback videos.

Kocis’ body was found by firemen responding to a fire at the porn king’s Dallas Township house on the night of January 24, a Wednesday, his neck slashed to the point of near decapitation and his torso stabbed 28 times.

On Tuesday, jurors heard from 5 medical experts who identified Kocis’ remains.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Mary Frances Pascucci testified that Kocis likely died from a blow to his neck and presented photos showing Kocis had suffered third-degree burns over 90 percent of his body. Medical records were used to identify the body, she said.

Investigators allege Cuadra, 27, and his lover, Joseph Kerekes, 35, who were involved in gay online pornography and escorting themselves, are responsible for the murder. The two plotted to kill the porn producer in an effort to cut free Kocis’ biggest star, Sean Lockhart, from his contractual obligations, they contend.

Last December Kerekes pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and is now serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole after admitting he knew of and helped facilitate the murder.

It’s likely that Cuadra’s defense will rest on pinning the murder on his former lover and business partner, Kerekes, or Lockhart and his boyfriend, Grant Roy.

“Our defense is simple, Harlow didn’t do it,” defense lawyer Joseph D’Andrea told the jury in his opening statement. “You’ll hear that Grant Roy and Sean Lockhart hated Bryan Kocis; they even wanted him dead. They (Kerekes and Cuadra) had a male escort business, a male prostitution business. It was money that motivated Joseph Kerekes; he prostituted his lover Harlow to make money.”

Kocis had built his Cobra Video gay porn business off the backs of barely legal young boys; his most lucrative star was Lockhart, who starred in several videos under the name Brent Corrigan. The two met on the Internet when Lockhart was living in San Diego and desperate for cash. But after being turned into a porn star – and Kocis’ part-time lover – Lockhart wanted out, and new boyfriend, Roy, wanted in as manager.

Letting go was not easy for Kocis who fought for the Brent Corrigan naming rights in court.

D’Andrea characterized the relationship Lockhart and Roy had with Kocis as “hostile.”

According to statements Roy made to gay monthly Out, Cuadra, Kerekes, Lockhart and Roy had agreed to produce a film starring Lockhart and Cuadra which they believed would be worth $1 million. Kocis, who had yet to contractually release his former sex star, stood in the way of their million dollar plan.

Both Lockhart and Roy are expected to testify at the trial, but Kerekes has refused.

The trial continues.

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