Fleury hires lawyer in sex-abuse case

TARINA WHITE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:57 AM ET

Theo Fleury has reportedly decided to file criminal charges against Graham James, the junior hockey coach whom the former Flames forward alleges sexually abused him as a teenager.

Fleury told the New York Post yesterday he will proceed with legal action.

"That decision has been made," said Fleury. "I've hired Hersh Wolch, who might be the best criminal attorney in North America."

Fleury is in New York promoting his book, Playing With Fire, in which he claims the abuse from James began when he was 14 with the Western Hockey League's Moose Jaw Warriors.

The book marks the first public acknowledgment from Fleury he was a victim of abuse and he says it led to his alcoholism, substance abuse and gambling issues.

"That made me who I was," Fleury, who has since recovered, told the newspaper.

"You saw the anger on the ice. It was uncontrollable. I cringe when I see it.

"Never in my life did I want to be like that but that's the person that the abuse turned me into -- an alcoholic, doing drugs and completely out of control."

James was convicted in 1997 of more than 350 incidents of sexual abuse involving Fleury's junior teammate Sheldon Kennedy and an unidentified teammate and got 31/2 years in prison.

TARINA.WHITE@SUNMEDIA.CA


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