The quality of Canadian justice has been diminished by the pathetically light sentence passed Tuesday by a Manitoba provincial court judge on former junior hockey coach Graham James for sexual attacks committed against two young teens, Theo Fleury and his cousin Todd Holt.
Judge Catherine Carlson sent James to jail for two years, and, of course, he’ll be eligible for day parole after serving six months and full parole after eight months—a third of his sentence.
This case involved multiple victims and prolonged sexual attacks over many years, and yet, for that, this evil creature could be back on the streets in eight short
weeks [Correction: months]—very likely less than a day in prison for each incident of sexual abuse. And this for an individual who has shown a repeated pattern of molestation of vulnerable victims.
How can justice have been served here?
James was convicted on two counts of sexual assault and will serve his two-year sentences concurrently in federal prison. Concurrently? This means that one of the counts of his heinous crimes does not matter, and that, in effect, he has only to serve one of the prison terms and even then only a part of it.
Todd Holt, one of the victims, called the sentence, “a national travesty.” He could fairly have added the words “national disgrace” to his reaction and still come up short in condemning this sentence.
I am so angry about this callous disregard to James’s victims, I’m at a loss for words.