Graham James' victims call granting of day parole a 'farce'
James' victims Todd Holt and Sheldon Kennedy want former coach to serve more time in prison
Two men, sexually assaulted by former junior hockey coach Graham James, say they are disappointed he was granted day parole from a halfway house under certain conditions.
"Canada needs to wake-up," said Todd Holt, who played with James' team, the Swift Current Broncos, from 1989 to 1994.
"Graham James raped us players," Holt said. "It's a farce … If I was a pedophile out there today I'd be laughing at the justice system."
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Holt and Sheldon Kennedy, also assaulted by James, argue the amount of time James has served in prison pales next to the seriousness of his crime.
James is currently serving a seven-year sentence for sexual abuse, in addition to a 3 ½-year term he served in the late-1990s. The man once named "Hockey Man of the Year" has been convicted of molesting a total of six children.
"These crimes of early childhood trauma, child sexual abuse, make up 80 per cent of mental health issues in this country," Kennedy said.
Wrong message to future victims
Both Holt and Kennedy are concerned the seven-year sentence for abuse on multiple children will discourage other victims from coming forward to report crimes.
"Why would they come out and say anything? If they know the guy's just going to be slapped with two years, be out in eight months. It's disgusting," said Holt.
James requested the federal parole board grant him full parole on Monday, but the board found he lacked sufficient empathy and instead limited him to day parole.
According to the Correctional Service of Canada, offenders can be granted day parole to prepare them for full parole or release.
James will be staying at a halfway house and is prohibited from being in the presence of anyone under 18 or having a job where he's in a position of authority over anyone under that age.