Full statement from Todd Holt and Theo Fleury on prison sentence for Graham James
Sexual abuse victim, Todd Holt, holds back his emotions as he speaks to the media about the sentencing of his former hockey coach, Graham James, at a news conference held in Cochrane, Alta., Tuesday, March 20, 2012. (Jeff McIntosh / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Tuesday, March 20, 2012 1:27PM CST
Full text of statement from Todd Holt:
"I stand here today, on behalf of not only myself & my cousin Theoren Fleury, but as a voice for Everyman. For all the young boys, the old men & the ones that got stuck somewhere in between because of the most devastating type of abuse; sexual abuse inflicted on us by someone in a position of trust & authority. Theo and I were two of those who got stuck in that middle place between boy & man; we made some terrible choices & watched the life we were meant to lead spiral down the drain.
Theo and I speak to men all over and we tell them: YOU, like us, are not alone; the effects are far-reaching & sometimes feel never ending, but there IS a place & time for healing. It is NOW. I stand here today, a Victor over sexual abuse & I along with Theo, offer you our voice.
This sentence today is nothing short of a national travesty because we know that childhood sexual abuse has reached epidemic proportions in our country. Graham James once again perpetrated his crime and spread his sickness right through the courts of Canada. He conned the judge with his "poor me" and "I regret" statements. His lawyer defended the indefensible, and he's been rewarded for doing so and Graham James is laughing all the way back to the life he's always led knowing that justice for him is but a blip on the radar.
Today as we speak there is a boy out there going about his life, dreaming his dreams and hoping his hopes…until…Graham James crosses his path. And cross his path he will, because that's what he does; he preys upon the unsuspecting all the while knowing not much will happen to stop him. The courts of Canada have guaranteed that. The saddest part is that there are MANY Graham James; different names, in different towns & cities, in your own communities & yes, possibly even in your own families. Yes, I said it. They are everywhere. It is time that the predators know that they need to take notice and be scared ~ there is no place for you to hide; we are shedding light in those dark corners where you cower.
Theo and I call upon all Canadians, those who have suffered, and those who stand with the suffering, to demand that our government change the laws and empower justice to be all that it could be, and to do all that it should. We are calling out to our politicians to stand up for the 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys who will be sexually abused before the age of 18 in our country. We are standing up against a weak justice system and demanding change now. Theoren & I are calling out to YOU, the people of Canada & the World to take this issue NOW, to our politicians, & DEMAND change. Ask for, & receive answers, for CHANGE & REAL JUSTICE, or simply refuse to cast your vote for that constituent.
My name is Todd Holt and I stand today, with Theoren Fleury, & with ALL those who have suffered or are suffering, as a Victor over sexual abuse and an Advocate for change."
courtesy: Theo Fleury's website