The Parole Board of Canada has released the written record (read it after the jump) of a decision last week to grant freedom to sex predator Graham James, 62, (inset), a former hockey coach who exploited and abused young men he coached, including several who went on to successful professional careers in the National Hockey League. James was granted day parole after a hearing January 25 in Quebec, where he is completing a seven-year sentence for sexual assault, the latest in a series of convictions related to hundreds of incidents that date to the early 1970s. It is his second federal prison term.
(UPDATE: In a decision in July 2016, James’ day parole was extended and, in September 2016, he was granted full parole. Read those decisions in full in the Parole Records Library )
Some people have come to Tom Flanagan’s defence today, over his remarks about child pornography. They are misguided in supporting him, even when they attempt to contort this into a debate about free speech or academic freedom. Our history in this country, when it comes to the sexual abuse of children, is so horrendous, so appalling, that there can be no debate about whether child pornography, regardless of how or when it is consumed, is terribly damaging and worthy of jail sentences. It is one component in a continuum of exploitation and degradation. Consumers of child porn are complicit in a life-destroying criminal enterprise that has been concealed, rationalized and underreported for decades, perhaps centuries. The consumption of child pornography cannot be extracted and isolated from this continuum, to somehow insulate the consumers from the horrors done to the children captured in the images.