Graham James will wait for bail decision

Former junior hockey coach Graham James will have to wait a little longer to find out if a Manitoba judge will grant him bail.
Graham James, seen in Mexico after being tracked down by CBC News, is facing nine sex-related charges over a 15-year period, from 1979 until the mid-1990s. ((CBC))
Former junior hockey coach Graham James, facing sex-related charges in Manitoba, will have to wait a little longer to find out if a judge will grant him bail.

After a full day of arguments by lawyers for both sides in a Winnipeg courtroom, Judge Rocky Pollack adjourned the bail application to an unspecified day next week.

The Crown has opposed James's bail application, and the defence has been granted a publication ban on details, so the reason for the adjournment cannot be stated.

James's case reappears Friday in an administrative court, but James will not personally appear that day.

Looking thin and pale, James appeared in Manitoba provincial court Wednesday for the first time since returning to Canada from Mexico last month to face an arrest warrant.

The Crown presented its submissions to Pollack during the morning, and James's lawyer, Evan Roitenberg, followed suit in the afternoon.

James, 58, was met at Pearson International Airport in Toronto by members of the Winnipeg Police Service on Oct. 27. He was then escorted to Winnipeg, where he was arrested. He has been held in the Winnipeg Remand Centre ever since.

James is facing nine sex-related charges over a 15-year period, from 1979 until the mid-1990s.

The charges relate to complaints of sexual exploitation, sexual assault and gross indecency involving three boys.

One of the three is Theoren Fleury, now 42 and a former NHL star.

James recruited Fleury, then 13, from his minor hockey team in Russell, Man., to play junior in Winnipeg.

The other two complainants can't be named because of a publication ban.

Pardoned 3 years ago

James has already served 3½ years in prison for abusing two teenage players, including former NHLer Sheldon Kennedy. James pleaded guilty to those sexual assault charges in 1997.

He was pardoned by the National Parole Board three years ago.

The latest charges, along with a Canada-wide arrest warrant, were issued by Winnipeg police in October.

Graham James was coach and general manager of the Swift Current Broncos from 1986 to 1994. ((CBC))

The events are alleged to have occurred in Swift Current and Moose Jaw in Saskatchewan, as well as in Winnipeg.

Fleury ignited the latest charges, going to police in Winnipeg in January and filing a criminal complaint. Police launched an investigation that led to the two additional complainants coming forward.

James's hockey coaching career began in 1979 when he was behind the bench in Winnipeg for the Junior A Fort Garry Blues, leading them to the Manitoba provincial title.

In 1984, he became head scout for the Winnipeg Warriors of the Western Hockey League, and recruited Fleury and Kennedy.

The team later relocated to Moose Jaw and was renamed the Moose Jaw Warriors. James became coach in 1985.

He was coach and general manager of the Swift Current Broncos from 1986 to 1994, leading them to two WHL titles, in 1989 and 1993. The team also won the Memorial Cup in 1989, and James was named man of the year by the Hockey News.