Graham James will face a sentencing hearing for allegedly sexually abusing former Calgary Flames star Theo Fleury and another player, but Fleury is adamant that he’s moved on – regardless of what happens with James.
“I have already moved past and I am the victor over sexual abuse,” Fleury said. “And my sole focus and sole purpose in my life — and for the remainder of my life — is to support other victims who have come forth, or are yet to come forth, and have started the journey and the path to healing.”
Fleury’s battle with those abuses was one of the major focuses of his book “Playing with Fire.”
The spirited former NHL player won’t be on hand for the hearings, but some of James’ other victims will be on hand. Retired NHLer Sheldon Kennedy discussed how difficult it will likely be to sit in the same room as James.
“It’s a hard day to face your abuser in whatever type of abuse that is,” Kennedy said. “For so long you think it’s your fault and most of the time these people are in a position of power over you.”
The former hockey coach has already spent three and a half years in prison due to convictions related to similar charges. The Canadian Press reports that some legal experts believe that James might serve his time in the community since he’s already done time before, which is an idea that incenses Greg Gilhooly.
“In many ways Graham is no different than (serial child killer) Clifford Olson, except that Graham decided to leave his victims alive at the very end after doing what he did with them,” Gilhooly said. “Graham is a serial pedophile, who picked and chose his victim, and then moved on to the next, and the next, and the next. If our court system believes that the sentence he received the first time is adequate, I say the court system is an ass.”