The parole board has altered conditions of release imposed on a freed hockey coach who committed hundreds of sexual assaults on young players. The change, made in a decision June 21, 2018, would permit Graham James to meet face to face with his victims or their families, if they choose, as part of a restorative opportunities program. The meetings are arranged and closely monitored by a facilitator. The parole board decision (read a written record of it, after the jump) also reveals how James has fared in the community since he was granted full parole in September 2016.
Former radio star Jian Ghomeshi (inset) is not guilty of four sexual assaults and one charge of choking, a judge in Toronto ruled today, citing the “deceptive and manipulative” evidence of his accusers. The charges were laid against the former CBC personality after allegations that he assaulted three women between 2002 and 2003. The judge in the sensational case, William Horkins, made it clear in his ruling (read complete decision after the jump) that a finding of “not guilty” doesn’t mean the incidents didn’t happen. Horkins wrote that his finding “is not the same as deciding in any positive way that these events never happened.” But Horkins had harsh criticism for the accusers, saying he found it impossible to have “sufficient faith in the reliability or sincerity of these complainants.”
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 )
There’s a perplexing – perhaps alarming – statistic in new national crime figures released today by Statistics Canada. The numbers show that Kingston, in eastern Ontario, now has the highest sexual assault rate of the 33 biggest Canadian urban centres in StatsCan’s crime survey. The sexual assault rate in Kingston (the number of crimes reported to police, factored for population) skyrocketed by 34 per cent from 2011 to 2012. The rate in Kingston for 2012 is 97. Winnipeg, now the most violent city in Canada overall, based on the latest violent crime severity index, is second to Kingston in sexual assault rate at 91.
Killer Richard Joyce tried to hide his face from my camera and he refused to answer any questions as he shuffled into a Kingston, Ontario, courtroom today to make the surprise decision to abandon his faint hope application. As revealed in this previous post, Joyce now faces new charges related to the abduction and sexual assault of a nine-year-old girl 21 years ago, the year before he killed a Kingston woman during a gas bar robbery.
The Canadian military, no doubt feeling the heat as the lurid details of Russell Williams’ murders continue to ooze from a courtroom in Belleville, Ontario, reiterated that it’s powerless to strip Williams of his rich military pension and it cannot also prosecute him under military law. National Defence says (full statement after jump) it’s moving as quickly as possible to recover salary he’s been paid since his arrest and, cryptically, DND says, it will take “other measures to be determined.”
Police allege that a man who entertained children in the Kingston and Napanee areas in eastern Ontario for 20 years has been preying on “very young” victims. Provincial police have charged Randy Edward Miller, 40, with sexual assault and sexual interference in connection with the abuse of a young boy. Miller has worked as a clown at festivals, fairs and private parties and he has volunteered with Boy Scouts in Napanee.
There’s a troubling number missing from the latest report from Statistics Canada on criminal victimization. I went looking for the figure because it was there in the last version of the report, in 2004 – it showed that just 8% of all sexual assaults in 2004 were reported to police, a puny 42,000 assaults reported among the total of 512,000 committed. Expressed another way, less than 1 out of every 10 sexual assaults committed was reported to police. It is a pitiful and shameful statistic, a reflection of the fact that despite decades of progress in dealing with sexual abuse and exploitation, authorities have done little to make the process of reporting abuse and confronting abusers less frightening and intimidating. The vast majority of victims still suffer in silence. Statistics Canada refuses to release the figure for 2009 (more on that after the jump). What if things are getting worse? What if they are getting much worse? I’ve produced a disturbing statistic that suggests, if the number is valid, that far fewer sexual assault victims are reporting to police.