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Graham James: “I stand before you with regret”

Feb 22, 2012, 7:41 PM EDT

Graham James AP

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.”

  1. gbiscottagecheesefatties - Feb 22, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    sad story

  2. taytay099 - Feb 22, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    Screw him. He should spend the rest of his miserable life in a jail cell.

  3. captaincanuck84 - Feb 22, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    However long the sentence, he should be sent to the most violent prison in Canada and all inmates should be notified of his arrival and under no circumstances is he ever eligible for protective custody

  4. kitshky - Feb 22, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    What a pathetic creep. He didnt disappoint the “Canadian hockey public” and the “institution of hockey”, he’s a terrible human being who disappointed the human race by preying on the weakest of weakest citizens for his own selfish perversions.

    That’s the reason why he belongs behind bars for the rest of his life, and why the hockey community should never even acknowledge his existence. )Unless it’s to warn others about protecting our kids from this sort of danger.)

    No one cares that he’s sorry he got caught , or that he feels he deserves a voice at all. No apologize or not not.

    Go. Away. And. Die.

    • kitshky - Feb 22, 2012 at 10:31 PM

      Sorry, meant to say “not even to apologize”.

  5. blomfeld - Feb 22, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    Life Imprisonment ?

    “It costs Corrections Canada $110,223 to keep a male inmate in a maximum-security institution for a year ($150,867 for a woman). Medium- and minimum-security inmates cost more than $70,000 a year” … CBC

    I’ve never understood how “we” as a society have no qualms about taking the life of an innocent animal for our betterment or entertainment ?… how we can coldly turn away from a desperate person on his last legs ? … or how we can callously flip through the news without giving so much as a passing care for the suffering and misery in our world ? … yet we “bristle” at the notion of doing what is just, that which nature dictates, that which is right, by simply eliminating scum like this ?

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Feb 23, 2012 at 3:26 AM

      Why I down-thumbed: Yes, he could be described as scum, for indulging his dreadful and tragic impulses instead of seeking treatment for himself. I’d be quite surprised if his cravings were not the result of him having been abused as a child. That would be an explanation for his cravings, NOT an excuse for not seeking treatment before acting on his cravings. That said, “eliminating”? As in capital punishment? Sorry, but our legal system is run by people and thus has far too many flaws and makes too many errors to allow for it to sanction executing people. If you seriously refuse to admit that actually innocent people have been condemned to death, well, I can only offer you my sympathy for you being utterly dense. The price we must pay to ensure no innocent people are executed is letting the truly scummy live out their wretched lives away from the rest of us, in secure prisons.

      • gallyhatch - Feb 23, 2012 at 6:56 AM

        No thanks “NothanksI’mdriving123”.

        Your very comment begins with “Why I down-thumbed: Yes, he could be described as scum…..”

        “Could be”, are you frickin’ kidding me? He’s a repeating child molester. “Could be”? He IS scum. This probably did happen to him when he was young, but the second he put his hands on another child he forfeits his victim status and is now the abuser. He’s now continuing the cycle of abuse.

        Do you know anybody who had this hapen to them when they were young? Maybe you do & maybe you don’t (if you don’t I hope you never have to deal with it up close.) I have friends who were victims were they were young & their lives are forever altered – that’s something they can never get back. This scumbag wants leniency from the court, what kind of leniency did he allow his victims? A lifetime of nightmares? F him.

        Repeat offenders like this should be hung for all to see. I don’t disagree with your argument about our system being flawed, but there doesn’t seem to be much doubt in this case.

      • blomfeld - Feb 23, 2012 at 11:04 AM

        Galleyhatch – I completely agree with you … there is no “doubt” in this case and therefore there exists no reason not to eliminate this individual immediately. Spending millions of dollars to ensure he lives out the remainder of his life in “safety and dignity” is idiotic and callous.

  6. gallyhatch - Feb 22, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    There should be no ‘treatment’ or tax draining incarceration for predators like this.

    A bullet in the head cures this condition completely.

    • blomfeld - Feb 23, 2012 at 11:06 AM

      and it cures the condition permanently …

  7. mrskunitzdrippinlips - Feb 23, 2012 at 6:56 AM

    this guy probably molested pavel diksyuk too. that’s y he sucks so bad

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