One of Graham James’ victims is speaking out about the convicted pedophile being granted day parole.
Graham James appeared before the National Parole Board at a federal prison north of Montreal Monday morning and was granted day parole.
James is currently serving a seven-year sentence for sexually assaulting players he coached in the late 1980s and early ’90s with the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League.
Former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy was a guest on CKOM’s MainStreet program after the news broke on Monday. He said he couldn’t believe we were having the conversation about James being released again so soon.
“The true impact of this crime is not understood and hence the reason why we get the sentences such as we do,” he shared.
James will live in a halfway house under strict parole conditions.
Unfortunately, Kennedy said this case doesn’t serve as a good example for others who have suffered similar sexual abuse.
“Things like this, I think what happens is it doesn’t shine a great light and inspire others to come forward and tell their story,” Kennedy said.
Just a couple weeks ago, Kennedy was in Swift Current for a screening of his documentary highlighting his abuse at the hands of James, along with the aftermath and his recovery.
One of the key elements Kennedy hopes others will take away from the film is to share their stories of abuse. He thinks it’s still important to do that, even in light of the new developments concerning the man who tormented him.
“We can’t control the court system. We can’t control the investigations. All we can do in our part is to tell our story. Then our part is making sure that we’re doing everything in our power to get the life back and become the person that you want to be.”
James’ parole falls short of the full parole he was seeking. The National Parole Board said full parole would be premature right now and that James needs to show more empathy. The conditions include a ban on being in contact with anyone under 18 and a prohibition on having direct or indirect contact with his victims.