August 18, 2019

Winnipeg
18° C, Partly cloudy

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Former hockey coach Graham James sentenced to 2 years for abusing players

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 20/3/2012 (2707 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Graham James, known more for being a predatory child molester than a hockey coach, was sentenced today to two years in prison.

An ashen, skinny James, 59, showed little emotion as he was led away by sheriff's officers.

He pleaded guilty in December to sexually assaulting former NHL star Theoren Fleury and Todd Holt, Fleury's younger cousin, while coaching them in junior hockey during the 1980s and early '90s.

Provincial Court judge Catherine Carlson said no sentence she imposed could give back to Holt and Fleury what was taken by James.

Get the full story:

Already have an account? Log in here »

Keep reading free:

Already have an account? Log in here »

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 30 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Mon to Sat Delivery

Pay

$34.36

per month

  • Includes all benefits of All Access Digital
  • 6-day delivery of our award-winning newspaper
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 20/3/2012 (2707 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Graham James arrives at court in Winnipeg Tuesday, March 20, 2012 for sentencing for sexually abusing two of his former players.

CP

Graham James arrives at court in Winnipeg Tuesday, March 20, 2012 for sentencing for sexually abusing two of his former players.

Graham James, known more for being a predatory child molester than a hockey coach, was sentenced today to two years in prison.

An ashen, skinny James, 59, showed little emotion as he was led away by sheriff's officers.

Graham James (right) and Sheldon Kennedy are seen in a picture of the 1989 Memorial Cup edition of the Swift Current Broncos.

MIKE STURK / CALGARY HERALD

Graham James (right) and Sheldon Kennedy are seen in a picture of the 1989 Memorial Cup edition of the Swift Current Broncos.

He pleaded guilty in December to sexually assaulting former NHL star Theoren Fleury and Todd Holt, Fleury's younger cousin, while coaching them in junior hockey during the 1980s and early '90s.

Provincial Court judge Catherine Carlson said no sentence she imposed could give back to Holt and Fleury what was taken by James.

She added the courage shown by Fleury and Holt should be given "tremendous respect."

"What happened to Mr. Fleury and Mr. Holt is every child's worst nightmare," Carlson said.

Charges against James involving a third player, Greg Gilhooly, were stayed. Gilhooly was in court as was Sheldon Kennedy who was also sexually abused by James.

If you are outraged by this verdict and I see you are. Never let this conversation die," Fleury tweeted to his more than 46,000 followers in response to the sentence. "Keep elevating till change is made."

The Crown was seeking a six-year prison sentence. The defence had asked for a conditional sentence with no jail time. Defence lawyer Evan Roitenberg said James has become the most "hated man in hockey" and has been punished enough.

The maximum sentence is 10 years for each offence.

James first gained notoriety when he pleaded guilty in 1997 to sexually abusing Kennedy, who also later played in the NHL. James served about 18 months of a 3½-year sentence before he got out of jail in 2000.

The National Parole Board pardoned him in 2007. The Harper government has since overhauled the pardon system, banning pardons for those convicted of sexual offences against a minor.

Court has heard James singled out several of his young players to victimize, keeping them close to him and often separating them from their family by convincing them the teen needed tutoring and had to spend the night at his apartment.

Carlson said James used his position to control his victims and their dreams of one day playing professional hockey, threatening to deny them those dreams if they did not comply to his sexual demands.

"He could make or break them," Carlson said.

Carlson also said James' reputation has been destroyed by relentless media scrutiny, and that he has been publicly humiliated.

However, she added James is the author of his own misfortune.

James works as a software evaluator for a Montreal company.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

History

Updated on Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 11:38 AM CDT: Corrects typo; adds decision.

12:33 PM: adds comment from Fleury

1:14 PM: Removes live coverage window.

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us