Former NHLer Sheldon Kennedy ‘not surprised’ by charges against pedophile Graham James
Posted byon May 25, 2015
TORONTO – Convicted pedophile Graham James is facing more sexual assault charges ahead of his release from prison and one of his most outspoken victims said he isn’t surprised.
Former NHLer Sheldon Kennedy, who was a victim of James’ abuse, told Global News when police investigated his case they believed there were “70 to 100 more possible victims.”
“I wasn’t surprised to see another victim but what goes through my mind when I hear this, is I hope the individual is doing alright,” Kennedy said. “One of the myths out there is that when somebody tells their story is that it’s all over. When the reality is that’s it’s just the beginning and things become quite vulnerable from that point forward.”
Earlier Monday, RCMP in Swift Current, Sask. charged James with repeated sexual assault that is alleged to have occurred while he was coaching the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League in the early 1990s.
Kennedy said the impact of sexual abuse is often misunderstood as it can lead to later problems in a victim’s life.
“When we look at the impact of this crime on our children and in individuals it is the root cause to so many more social issues when people become adults,” he said.
James, 62, has already served three-and-a-half years for sex offences against Kennedy, which also happened while he was playing for the Broncos, as well as two other players. He is currently serving out the final weeks of a five-year sentence for abusing fellow NHL alum Theo Fleury, while he played for the Moose Jaw Warriors.
Kennedy has been an advocate for victims of sexual and his organization, the Respect Group, is dedicated to preventing abuse, bullying and harassment in school and elsewhere. His work recently earned him the Order of Canada.
Fleury tweeted Monday that he was not surprised by the news of the charges against James.