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Fleury pursuing charges against Graham James

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Ex-Wing Sheldon Kennedy's abuser pleads guilty to sexual assault

Winnipeg, Manitoba — Former junior hockey coach and convicted sex offender Graham James has pleaded guilty to sexual assaults involving two of his former players, including former Red Wing Sheldon Kennedy.

The move marks another chapter in what has become one of Canadian hockey's darkest stories.

James entered the plea in a Winnipeg courtroom Wednesday via video link from Montreal. The disgraced coach was originally facing nine charges of sexual assault involving three players spanning 1979 to 1994, but only pleaded guilty to charges involving two. The names of the two other players are protected under a court-ordered publication ban.

James, who has been out on bail for almost a year and living in Montreal, will appear in Winnipeg in February to be sentenced. He has already served a 3.5-year prison sentence for abusing other former players he coached, including former NHL star Theoren Fleury. The most recent charges came after Fleury published an autobiography in which he described the abuse he suffered.

In the book "Playing With Fire," Fleury detailed how James took him and Kennedy to Disneyland, where he said James would take turns molesting them in motel rooms. James pleaded guilty to the charges involving Kennedy in 1997, but Fleury stayed silent until 2009.

At a news conference in Calgary, Fleury criticized the justice system for how it handled the James case.

"Graham James pled guilty years ago, and then he was granted a pardon, after he was found in Mexico and brought back to Canada on these charges," he said. "He was given bail ... this is what the mighty Canadian justice system allowed a previously convicted child rapist to do."

Fleury said a convicted pedophile like James doesn't change.

"I believe what people show me — he showed me he was and is a rapist. There is no changing a monster like that."

Both Kennedy and Fleury spiraled downward as adults despite their professional success on the ice. They were both divorced, and both abused drugs and alcohol.

Fleury said the sexual abuse in his teen years transformed him from a confused young man into an angry, self-loathing boozer who blew millions on gambling and drugs. Kennedy said he was suicidal and couldn't sleep for fear he would be taken advantage of again.

Both have become outspoken advocates for abuse victims.

Kennedy was drafted by the Wings in the fourth round in 1988. He was traded to the Winnipeg Jets for a third-round draft pick in 1994. The Flames claimed him off waivers in 1995 and he retired as an NHL player in 1997.

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20111207/SPORTS0103/112070421/Ex-Wing-Sheldon-Kennedy’s-abuser-pleads-guilty-to-sexual-assault#ixzz1fuzVrwla

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If sick f***s like this keep getting bail and short sentences, vigilante justice is going to come into play. What would you do if the man who raped your child was pardoned?

It actually frightens me to think what I would do. These f***s deserve "everything" they get when they go to prison.

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The sad thing in the states at least is that they have a statute of limitations on these types of crimes. Bernie Fine (syracuse asst coach) cannot be charged by the two individuals that came out about their molestation because of the statute of limitations. I would be 100% for removing the limit on these types of crimes.

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