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Dreger: Fleury meets with police regarding abuse by James

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Darren Dreger
1/14/2010 8:03:54 PM
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Theoren Fleury has done his part in an effort to bring Graham James to justice.

The former NHLer told TSN that he went to Winnipeg police last week and wants to move this matter forward.

"I sought out some good advice from my lawyers and advisors on how to go about dealing with Graham James for abusing me when I was a kid," Fleury said in an email to TSN. "I have been reflecting on this a long time. I wanted to make the biggest impact on preventing this kind of thing from happening in the future.

"I have been under fire by certain members of the press, but I have to handle this matter to best serve the community and my family. I went to the City of Winnipeg Police and filed a complaint last week, and I am now advised their investigation is proceeding however, no charges have yet been laid.

"Until the investigation is fully complete," Fleury added, "I have been instructed to have no further conversations with the press that may jeopardize this police investigation. It's out of my hands now."

Fleury's participation in this case ends with the filed complaint.

Whether or not charges are laid depends on the outcome of the police departments findings.

In his book 'Playing with Fire' Fleury stated that he was sexually abused by James when he played junior hockey for the Moose Jaw Warriors of the WHL between 1984 and 1988.

In 1997 James pleaded guilty to repeatedly sexually assaulting two teenage players, one of them being former teammate of Fleury's with the Warriors and NHL player, Sheldon Kennedy.  James was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail.

The 41-year old Fleury played 1,084 games in the NHL split between the Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, New York Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks.  During his 15 year NHL career he scored 455 goals and added 633 assists.  He also helped the Flames capture the only Stanley Cup championship in franchise history in 1989.

In February of 2001, Fleury voluntarily entered the NHL's substance abuse and behavioral health program.  He recovered in time to help Canada win the gold medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

In October of 2002 he was suspended by the league for violations of the terms of his aftercare program.

Fleury attempted to make a comeback this season with the Flames but was cut during the pre-season.  He officially announced his retirement this past September and went public with his allegations of abuse at the hands of James and the depths of his depression and addictions.

Recently he was critical of the Flames on his personal blog for their decision to release him, however he later apologized for his statements. 

Theoren Fleury (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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