Graham James faces sexual assault charges

Winnipeg police have issued a Canada-wide warrant for former junior hockey coach and convicted sex offender Graham James, who is facing sexual assault charges.

Warrant issued for his arrest by Winnipeg police

Winnipeg police have issued a Canada-wide warrant for former junior hockey coach Graham James, who is facing sexual assault charges in relation to three new complainants, including former NHL star Theoren Fleury.

Fleury released Playing with Fire in 2009 — a book in which the former Calgary Flames star alleged he was repeatedly sexually assaulted as a teenager by James.

Fleury then went to police in Winnipeg last January and filed a criminal complaint against James in the hope that it would lead to a new case.  

"Mr. James has always expressed a willingness to deal with these matters and not run away from them," Evan Roitenberg, lawyer for James, said Wednesday.

Roitenberg would not say where James is or if he's in the country.

James, a high-profile coach in Western Canada in the 1980s and 1990s, was convicted of sexually assaulting former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy, along with an unidentified player. He was sentenced to 3½ years in federal prison in 1997.

James was banned for life from coaching by the Canadian Hockey Association but subsequently turned up coaching in Spain from 2001 to 2003.

James received a pardon in 2007, which drew national outrage, and was last reported living in Guadalajara, Mexico.

"This is finally all coming to a head and finally me and my family can move on with our lives and not have this kind of dark cloud hanging over our head," Fleury said.

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

With files from The Canadian Press