Tag: Sheldon Kennedy

Graham James

Graham James’ sentencing appeal set for December 3


Convicted sexual abuser Graham James will get another day in court, only this time it’s to see if he’ll be sent to jail for a few more years.

James’ sentence appeal is set for December 3 in a Manitoba court as they’ll look to extend his punishment beyond the two years he was given back in March. Former NHLers Theo Fleury and Sheldon Kennedy were both abused by the former junior hockey coach but it was him preying on Fleury and his cousin Todd Holt that landed him in prison.

The Crown was aiming for a six-year sentence for James when he was sentenced in March, hoping the judge would ignore previous jail time James served. That didn’t happen and now Fleury and Holt want to see him put away longer.

If the appeal fails, James can apply for parole in November and could be out on statutory release in July.

Graham James: “I stand before you with regret”

Graham James

Graham James apologized to Theo Fleury, his other victims and the hockey community at large during his sentencing hearing on Wednesday. CTV captured much of what was said, including James’ statements.

“I stand before you with regret,” James said. “I apologize to the Canadian hockey public … and to the institution of hockey. I apologize to the people and fans in communities where I coached. I apologize to the players that I coached.

“I apologize to Theoren Fleury and to Todd Holt. I wanted the best for you but did not give you my best. My actions forfeited our friendship.”

James’ lawyer is calling for a 12-18 month community sentence that wouldn’t involve jail time, arguing that the court should not “sentence to appease the public.”

While Fleury wasn’t on hand for the hearing, his written appeal argues for James to face a 27-year sentence and includes this haunting excerpt:

“When you consider punishment for Graham James I ask this court to think not only about the law, but also about that scared little boy who had nowhere to turn, nowhere to run and nowhere to hide each and every time Graham James raped me,” Fleury’s statement said.

“I did not have the emotional skills, the knowledge or the ability to stop the rapes or change my circumstances. I felt lost, alone, and helpless.”

Fleury said that James assaulted him on about 150 different occasions.

A pyschiatrist’s report indicates that James needs treatment for “deeply engrained erotic preferences” while his representative said that he’s not the “beast everyone thinks he is.”

Although Fleury and former teammate Sheldon Kennedy hope for a lengthy jail term, they acknowledge the stronger possibility for a much lighter community punishment instead.

“You know, Graham James is going to walk — again,” Kennedy said. “That’s not right.”

Infamous Graham James has trial delayed again

2011 Heritage Classic - Alumni Game

Notorious former Western Hockey League coach Graham James managed to have his latest sexual assault trial pushed back until September 15. Directly from the Winnipeg Sun:

“James did not appear in court Thursday, as junior lawyers representing the Crown and defence simply got together to set further dates.

Court heard James and his lawyer need more time to discuss his case.”

Note, this case has nothing to do with the thirty sexual assault counts that James was convicted of in 1997. No, these are nine brand new counts that have been brought before authorities for alleged acts committed against three different junior hockey league players between 1979 and 1994. Among the alleged victims are former NHL star Theo Fleury—in his 2009 autobiography “Playing With Fire,” Fleury claimed that he had been abused by James when he was with the Moose Jaw Warriors in the mid-to-late 1980s.

After he was sentenced to a three and a half year sentence for sexually abusing players, he was inexplicably pardoned by the Canadian government. Obviously, Fleury had a comment when the 2007 pardon made news in 2010.

“I’m shocked and mystified. Imagine somebody who commits that kind of crime being pardoned. Obviously nobody was proud of the decision or it wouldn’t have been a secret. I thought we had an open justice system. It’s just more proof our society has a lot to learn about protecting the victims.”

Just as incredible as the pardon, James was quickly able find another job coaching hockey with a team in Spain. Not only did he coach, but he was also an assistant coach on the country’s World C Hockey Championship team in 2001. He eventually disappeared to Mexico before he was eventually forced to face the nine new charges.

We’ll keep you updated as this sad story continues to play out over the next few months.

Infamous sex offender hockey coach Graham James released on bail

Graham James

We’ve been keeping a stray eye on the case surrounding infamous youth coach Graham James who was brought back to Canada to face charges that were brought against him by former Flames superstar Theo Fleury. James was brought back to Winnipeg to face the music and today bad news for those hoping to see him locked away in prison. TSN Bob McKenzie noted for us on Twitter that James was released on bail today.

For the public and for fans of Theo Fleury and Sheldon Kennedy, who both suffered under James’ tutelage, it’s an outrageous turn of events. Legally speaking, it unfortunately makes sense. After James was unbelievably pardoned he left Canada to live in Mexico. When Fleury brought charges against James and he was discovered living south of the border, he willingly came back to Canada to face the music. He’s not viewed to be a flight risk and after coughing up the money for bail he’s free to go.

I doubt this will be the last we’ll hear of things and as for Theo Fleury’s thoughts on what happened, he tweeted this after hearing the news.

Graham James let out on bail. Call your MP’s. Nice leadership display by the people were suppose to trust.

Fleury feeling upset by this whole process is more than understandable. At some point we’ll see justice served on this matter, but for now frustration will win the day.

Noted hockey sexual predator Graham James arrested in Toronto

Graham James

You might recall a while back when we told you about how hockey coach and noted sexual predator, and tormentor of former NHLers Theoren Fleury and Sheldon Kennedy, Graham James was being pursued by Winnipeg police once again concerning allegations that were brought against him by Fleury. As it turns out, James has turned himself over to Winnipeg authorities and was arrested tonight in Toronto.

Police say Mr. James gave himself up at Toronto’s Pearson International airport Wednesday morning and was escorted to Winnipeg, where he was being held in custody.

Police say he surrendered by mutual agreement. No further details have been released.

Interesting to note that he surrendered under a special agreement. It was a special agreement of another kind that allowed James to be pardoned back in 2007. Once James was pardoned, he made his way out of Canada to Guadalajara, Mexico where he was living in hiding, even though his agent said he wasn’t hiding at all.

When both Sheldon Kennedy and Theo Fleury wrote books describing the disgusting hell that James put them both through that lead to personal problems for both of them, it opened the eyes of the rest of the junior hockey community as James was once a well-respected junior coach. Not anymore, however, as James is universally reviled after the lid was taken off of all the terrible things he’s done from a position of influence over young boys. Justice can’t come swiftly enough to get James behind bars.