PARDON THE ERUPTION
“Sentence… a national travesty.” Todd Holt, victim of Graham James.
By Terrance Gavan
Whatever you think about convicted sex abuser Graham James, you have to at least admire and respect the way the Canadian criminal justice program has treated the guy.
On Tuesday, James, who was convicted on further sexual abuse allegations – this time of former NHL star Theo Fleury and his younger cousin Todd Holt – got a deuce.
Who knows what that means. The defense was asking for an 11 or 12-month conditional sentence and the crown was asking for… ah, who cares what the crown was asking.
More important is what the judge decided, because that’s the only justice the abused players – now fully grown but still ravaged by the ugly crimes – will receive for James’s abhorrent and aberrant behavior.
James gets a deuce for the sexual abuse of Fleury and Holt.
Holt, who emerged from the courtroom to a wall of cameras, said he was talking for Fleury and had to fight back tears several times during his address to the press.
Holt, just another victim of James’s abuse called the sentence a “national travesty.”
To put this verdict in perspective, let’s look at James’s previous ‘dance macabre’ with the Canadian justice system.
Convicted of the sexual abuse of Sheldon Kennedy in 1997, James got three-and-a-half years and served a deuce less six months.
That’s right, 18 months. James applied for and received a pardon in 2007.
James actually pled guilty to the new charges back in December in a Manitoba courtroom.
Winnipeg lawyer Greg Gilhooly, who had his own charges against James stayed, told CBC television that James won’t be playing golf this summer, but he’ll probably be home for Christmas dinner.
“I spent more time in therapy than Graham James spent in jail and therapy, and this is a joke,” said Gilhooly.
Sheldon Kennedy was in the courtroom. He runs a support organization for abused kids. He said he’s glad to see that James is at least doing hard time. His defense asked for a conditional sentence.
Holt emerged from the court, faced the cameras and told the crowd that he was speaking on behalf of his cousin.
He gave a shattering personal account.
I’m speaking for myself and my cousin, but also as a voice for every man, for all the young boys and men, the ones who got stuck between… the most devastating form of sexual abuse,” said Holt. “Sexual abuse inflicted on us by a person in a position of trust and authority.
“Theo and I got stuck in the middle between boy and man. We made some terrible choices and watched the life that we were meant to lead spiral down the drain.
“No longer. Today, Theo and I speak to men all over and tell them, ‘you, like us, are not alone.’ The affects are far-reaching and sometimes feel never-ending.
“But there is a place and a time for healing. It is now.”
And here his voice cracked. Under the strain of all that stuff. Secrets, lies and outcomes.
“The sentence today is nothing short of a national travesty,” said Holt. “Because we know that childhood abuse has reached epidemic proportions in our country.”
And then Todd Holt literally broke down and was unable to speak for 15 seconds.
What Graham James did to Todd and Theo happened when they played together as boys over 25 years ago.
Theo did not come out to face the press and Todd was crying.
Men reduced to boys again.
And the culprit gets a deuce.
That’s justice inCanadafolks, like it or hate it.
Pardon the Eruption has no idea what’s enough and what’s too much in the case of child abuse.
I do know that the deuce doesn’t do it.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]