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James sentence 'a national travesty' says Fleury, Holt

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The Canadian Press
3/21/2012 5:31:40 PM
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Joint statement by Todd Holt and his cousin Theo Fleury on the sentencing of Graham James, the disgraced former junior hockey coach who sexually assaulted them as teenagers:

I stand here today, on behalf of not only myself and my cousin Theoren Fleury, but as a voice for Everyman; for all the young boys, the old men and the ones that got stuck somewhere in between because of the most devastating type of abuse -- sexual abuse inflicted on us by someone in a position of trust and authority.

Theo and I were two of those who got stuck in that middle place between boy and man. We made some terrible choices and watched the life we were meant to lead spiral down the drain.

No longer.

Theo and I speak to men all over and we tell them: YOU, like us, are not alone. The effects are far-reaching and sometimes feel never ending, but there IS a place and time for healing. It is NOW. I stand here today, a Victor over sexual abuse; and I, along with Theo, offer you our voice.

This sentence today is nothing short of a national travesty because we know that childhood sexual abuse has reached epidemic proportions in our country.

Graham James once again perpetrated his crime and spread his sickness right through the courts of Canada. He conned the judge with his "poor me" and "I regret" statements. His lawyer defended the indefensible, and he's been rewarded for doing so, and Graham James is laughing all the way back to the life he's always led, knowing that justice for him is but a blip on the radar.

Today, as we speak, there is a boy out there going about his life, dreaming his dreams and hoping his hopes ... until ... Graham James crosses his path. And cross his path, he will; because that's what he does -- he preys upon the unsuspecting all the while knowing not much will happen to stop him. The courts of Canada have guaranteed that.

The saddest part is that there are MANY Graham James's -- different names, in different towns and cities; in your own communities and, yes, possibly even in your own families. Yes, I said it. They are everywhere. It is time that the predators know that they need to take notice and be scared. There is no place for you to hide. We are shedding light in those dark corners where you cower.

Theo and I call upon all Canadians, those who have suffered, and those who stand with the suffering, to demand that our government change the laws and empower justice to be all that it could be, and to do all that it should.

We are calling out to our politicians to stand up for the one-in-three girls and one-in-five boys who will be sexually abused before the age of 18 in our country. We are standing up against a weak justice system and demanding change now. Theoren and I are calling out to YOU -- the people of Canada and the World -- to take this issue NOW to our politicians and DEMAND change; ask for and receive answers -- for CHANGE and REAL JUSTICE; or simply refuse to cast your vote for that constituent.

My name is Todd Holt and I stand today, with Theoren Fleury, and with ALL those who have suffered or are suffering, as a Victor over sexual abuse and an Advocate for change.

Theoren Fleury (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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