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Graham James pleads guilty to sex assaults

Dec 7, 2011, 3:28 PM EDT

Graham James

Today in a Winnipeg courtroom, former junior hockey coach Graham James pleaded guilty to repeatedly sexually assaulting two of his former players, including ex-NHL star Theoren Fleury.

Via Postmedia:

Appearing via video link to a Winnipeg court room, James admitted he repeatedly molested Fleury between Sept. 1, 1983 and Aug. 31, 1985 in both Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

He also admitted he repeatedly molested the other victim, who cannot be named under a publication ban, between May 1, 1989 and April 30, 1994 in Winnipeg.

James was imprisoned for 3 1/2 years in 1997 after he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting another former NHL player, Sheldon Kennedy, and another unnamed player about 350 times over 10 years.

Amazingly, James was pardoned by the National Parole Board in 2007, after which he moved to Mexico. But when new charges arose in 2010, a warrant was issued for his arrest and he returned to Canada.

Following today’s guilty plea, Fleury ripped the Canadian justice system in a statement.

“Graham James pled guilty years ago,” said Fleury, “and then he was granted a pardon, after he was found in Mexico and brought back to Canada on these charges he was given bail, then plea bargained for 14 months — this is what the mighty Canadian justice system allowed a previously convicted child rapist to do.”

Fleury also warned that James would reoffend again if given the opportunity.

“There is no changing a monster like that,” he said. “Defence lawyers can package up their clients in fancy words and lengthy legal maneuvers, but how they sleep at night knowing they are aiding and abetting a rapist is beyond me.”

The Winnipeg Free Press has a more detailed look at the life of Graham James.

According to CBC, James will be sentenced on Feb. 22, 2012.

  1. govtminion - Dec 7, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    Bravo to Fleury for saying what we’re certainly all thinking. With the recent similar mess at Penn State, it’s good that this slime is going to spend some time in prison and didn’t slip through the cracks, despite every opportunity given to him to do so.

  2. barroomhero80 - Dec 7, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    this sicko should never have been able to walk the first time. who knows what he’s been up to. castrate em or worse

  3. kingjoe1 - Dec 7, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    I cannot imagine the horror of an adult male forcible raping a young boy hundreds of times. However, the fact that anyone every considered him not a threat and pardoned him just makes the matter so much worse. I simply cannot understand how he was not placed in jail for life after the initial case. I hope he now has a happy home in a jail cell with someone as sick as him and much much bigger.

  4. bozosforall - Dec 7, 2011 at 7:21 PM

    Blaming the lawyers is just ridiculous. Under the law, everyone is entitled to competent counsel, no matter how unsavory the client.

    That being said, I hope that they throw James into general population and then announce what he was convicted for over the public address system. Mean but it’s not like he was a nice guy when he was abusing innocent boys.

  5. taytay099 - Dec 7, 2011 at 7:21 PM

    That’s Canada for you. We don’t often get to see justice served here.

    • petriskriko - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:40 PM

      Least just country in the world! (Except for almost all the other ones.)

  6. obsolete777 - Dec 7, 2011 at 8:16 PM

    You sadists wishing for prison rape should seek professional help. You are not much better than the person you are wishing it upon.

    • galuple - Dec 8, 2011 at 1:47 AM

      They’re not wishing for this guy to get raped. They’re hoping he’s going to get the shit kicked out of him.

  7. bleed4philly - Dec 8, 2011 at 1:37 AM

    2011 is the year of child sex abuse scandals.

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