Graham James to be sentenced for sexually molesting players

Graham James, a junior hockey player who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing NHL star Theoren Fleury and another player is to appear in court on Wednesday.

The truth did not come into view until Fleury mentioned it in his autobiography that was published in 2009. When the book was published, James was summoned to court where he admitted repeatedly assaulting Fleury.

He also confessed of repetitively abusing another player, whose identity cannot be disclosed due to publication ban in Winnipeg. He was jailed for three and a half years in 1997. Reportedly, James is scheduled to appear at his sentencing hearing on Wednesday in a Winnipeg court.

After spending 18 months in jail, James applied for, and received a pardon in 2007 and thus was allowed to travel freely across borders.

However, the federal government of Canada introduced changes to pardon eligibility in its omnibus crime bill in 2010. The bill is still under consideration. According to the bill, criminals convicted with sex offences would not be entitled to receive pardons.

“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,” said Greg  Gilhooly, a former player who was also under James’ tutelage.

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