March 20, 2012

If I wasn't sick before...

...I am now. Graham James, the animal who got away with assaulting god knows how many young boys over the years has been sentenced to two years in jail for his assaults on hockey players Todd Holt and Theo Fleury. This was his third conviction; he served time for assaulting Sheldon Kennedy, another hockey player. And his first conviction was all the way back in 1971.

Oh, and while I'm here: rape is rape. Sexual assault now encompasses the whole kit of sexual crimes, but let's be clear: someone touching my breast without my permission is different from someone raping me. Both are unwelcome; but they are different. Why soften the wording when the act remains just as heinous?

We don't value our kids too much, do we? This monster James has been preying on kids for decades, but the system still lets him out. Oh, actually, we do better than that: this criminal received a pardon from the Canadian government, which left him free to travel to Europe and the States to work with...more hockey players. Really? This trail of destruction and he's being sentenced to two years? Isn't this Dangerous Offender territory?

And let's not be led astray by the thought that he has had just four victims. Read this from one of his 'alleged' earliest victims. I have to put that in quotes because when you have so many charges to pick from, you finally have to settle on a couple to streamline the process. My heart goes out to you, Mr. Gilhooly. I can't imagine the demons you face down.

Who was in charge of that pardon, you might ask? Vic Toews. Guess he was busy with his crazy secret double life and let this one get away from him. Hey, Conservatives - you've voted yourselves the ability to now build a whole bunch of new prisons. How about you actually keep a criminal like James in one of them, instead of paroling him and then pardoning him?

Your tax dollars, hard at work.

*Edit: Read this statement that Todd Holt made at the sentencing. It made me cry.

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Anonymous Zena said...

Almost fell off my chair when I read it. Even if the sentences were to be served consecutively, it might have been a bit less dismaying - but concurrently? Really?

The argument that he hasn't re-offended (and can control his urges) doesn't wash: how would anyone really know? All we know is that he hasn't been accused of any recent offenses. There's a difference. Pedophilia is a notoriously difficult disorder to treat.

And the idea that pleading guilty shows acknowledgement of and contrition for his crimes is laughable: a truly contrite person wouldn't walk around with his face covered up.

The man is sick - I get that. But let's not hand him the opportunity to cause any further damage.

March 20, 2012 2:48 PM  
Anonymous buzzwhack said...

Bring back Capitol Punishment and get serious on GBH crimes, eliminate Young Offenders Act. Three things that will get rid of scum like this.

March 20, 2012 4:26 PM  
Anonymous Zena said...

The issue with that, though, Buzz, is that those are after-the-fact punishments. Punishment is not a deterrent.

Pedophilia (like addiction), is an illness - it has to be treated, and its root causes identified so it can be prevented.

Locking someone up and throwing away the key after the fact is a poor solution. It's necessary to prevent identified perpetrators from inflicting more harm, but it doesn't prevent more perpetrators from stepping up to fill the void.

If it were that easy, we'd have no crime in our society.

Have to stop now - this is an emotional topic and I don't want to get into a drawn-out debate.

March 20, 2012 5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to the Toronto Star:
"But the judge also pointed out that James expressed remorse, apologized to his victims and has experienced what she called "an extreme degree of humiliation" — factors that warranted a reduction in his sentence.

She said James could have fought extradition from Mexico, where he had been living, but voluntarily came back to face the charges. He pleaded guilty and has kept a regular full-time job. The last of James's offenses occurred 18 years ago and he hasn't been convicted of any criminal offense since 1997, she said.

"The two-year sentence is a penitentiary sentence. It acknowledges the seriousness of Mr. James' offenses. It means sending back to jail someone who has not reoffended in the last 15 years and has done all society has required of him during that time."

A reduced sentence because he suffered an extreme degree of humiliation??? What about what those young men suffered when the man who they believed held their future in his hands said "bend over buddy, this won't hurt a bit?"

The judge should be shot.

March 21, 2012 9:22 AM  
Anonymous Roz said...

"...and he hasn't been convicted of any criminal offense since 1997, she said."

More like, he hasn't been caught - yet. When I first heard a female judge was determining this monster's sentence I thought we had a snowball's chance in hell of maybe, getting a decent sentence for this animal who has ruined so many lives. Not so much. We need to be ashamed of our judicial system that puts such a low price on young people's lives.

Oh, I forgot, I'm not talking to you...

March 21, 2012 9:34 AM  
Anonymous jmd said...

This asinine ruling certainly doesn't encourage victims to come forward. Why put yourself through the agony when your abuser gets a slap on the wrist? Pedophiles have the highest recidivism rate of all criminals, and all their regret and remorse carries no weight with me.

Todd Holt, Theo Fleury and Sheldon Kennedy are heroes in my eyes.

March 21, 2012 9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The actual question is "how many other young boys went through this with this guy"! I have no use for people who abuse other people, young or elder.

He was trusted to take care of these young people. Unfortunately my thought of punishment isn't allowed.

We need to remember what Theo Fleury, Todd Holt and Sheldon Kennedy went through, and though I hope not, there could be things like this still going on!!

Hopefully children (and elders) let who go through abuse, report this to the appropriate contacts/authorities in their lives.

March 22, 2012 9:20 AM  
Blogger Nursedude said...

Regardless of the sentence handed down he should have at least been declared a dangerous offender and made to serve a lifetime of probation/supervision. You'll note that he's only banned from volunteering with kids. There's nothing in the terms of his sentence to stop him from obtaining a paid position working with youth.

March 22, 2012 9:57 AM  
Anonymous buzzwhack said...

Recidivism is a big problem with offenders. Life jail sentences won't stop him from the first offence but it sure will stop him from doing it again. Same thing goes for Capitol Punishment.We need to get a message out to teenagers that hiding behind the law isn't going to cut it in the real world. Why wait until they're 20? Sounds extreme? Not if you've been a victim.

March 22, 2012 10:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to a statement from Theo, he is now on a world-wide sex offender registry and had to provide a DNA sample. At least they got that part right.

March 22, 2012 3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe we will see the ripple-effect of this sentence for a long time. I believe we will see an increase in 'vigilante justice'. If the courts won't punish, then I believe some will take it into their own hands. Just think about what you would do if someone diddled with your kid? I don't think I could stand a 2 year sentence for taking away my childs innocence.

I truly find it disgusting.

March 29, 2012 11:39 AM  

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