Crown appeals Graham James sentence for child sexual abuse; court reserves decision
Published Sunday, December 2, 2012 11:37AM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 4, 2012 11:15AM CST
The case of one of Canada’s most notorious convicted sex offenders was back in a Manitoba court room Monday morning.
Three judges heard a motion to appeal the sentencing of Graham James, who was convicted of child sexual abuse earlier this year and sentenced to two years in jail.
James is a former hockey coach who was convicted of sexually abusing two of his former players – NHL star Theo Fleury and his younger cousin Todd Holt.
The two were teens at the time of the abuse in the 1980s.
Crown attorney Liz Thompson argued that trial judge Catherine Carlson awarded far too light a sentence.
Thompson argued Carlson put too much emphasis on the sentence handed down to James in a child sexual abuse conviction dating back to 1997. Thompson said the attacks on Fleury and Holt were “separate and distinct offences and separate and distinct victims.”
Thompson said the hundreds of offences on the two children warrant a much lengthier sentence and is asking for at least a six year term for James.
James was absent for the court room Monday, having previously requested not to be present.
But, Greg Gilhooly, another of James's alleged victims, appeared in court Monday. Gilhooly supports the appeal and has said the Crown is sending an important message by filing an appeal. James was originally charged with assaulting Gilhooly as well but those charges were stayed.
The defence has requested a conditional sentence for James, saying he has been punished enough.
Defence attorney Evan Roitenberg argued James has been rehabilitated and that he had not consciously set out to be a predator.
The judges reserved their decision Monday afternoon.