Graham James granted bail

DEAN PRITCHARD, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:15 PM ET

WINNIPEG — Graham James has been granted bail, but it could be nearly a week before he walks out of jail.

The disgraced former junior hockey coach and scout won his release late Tuesday afternoon following a bail hearing before Judge Rocky Pollack.

Sitting in the prisoner’s box, James showed neither relief nor joy at Pollack’s decision.

James, 58, will remain in custody, possibly until next week, as the Crown and defence hammer out the conditions of his release.

James is facing nine new charges of sexual assault involving three minors between 1979 and 1994. The alleged victims include former NHLer Theo Fleury.

Fleury voiced his distaste in a Twitter post shortly after the decision Tuesday.

“Call your MPs,” Fleury said. “Nice leadership display by the people we’re supposed to trust.”

The Crown opposed James’ release.

The Crown can oppose bail on three grounds: that the accused is a flight risk, that the accused is a danger to the community or that the release of an accused will bring the justice system into disrepute.

Details of the bail hearing, including the grounds on which the Crown opposed bail, cannot be printed due to a publication ban.

James was convicted in 1997 of sexually assaulting two teenage hockey players, including former NHLer Sheldon Kennedy, and was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison.

James was living and working in Mexico when Winnipeg police issued a Canada-wide warrant for his arrest in late October. James returned to Canada on Oct. 27 and was taken into custody.

Fleury detailed the sexual assault allegations in his autobiography, Playing With Fire, published last year. Fleury alleges the abuse — which began when he was 13 — sent him on a downward spiral of drug and alcohol abuse and years of self-destructive behaviour.

dean.pritchard@sunmedia.ca


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