How does a convicted sex offender obtain a pardon and then bail when he faces additional charges for sexual offences?
This is a clear example of why the Canadian government needs to do more about sexual abuse and to protect the victims of sexual offenders.
In an interview with the Toronto Star on December 8, 2010, Theo Fleury, a survivor of sexual abuse who is pursuing charges against his offender Graham James, urged Canadians to contact their local Member of Parliament. He believes “the decision to grant Graham James bail . . . means those who have suffered in silence will not feel confident about stepping up and voicing their concerns”. Fleury further stated, “We absolutely must do something about this for the future of our children. I encourage you to contact your Member of Parliament and complain.”
However, this call to action does not stem solely from previously convicted sex offender Graham James being granted bail in December 2010. The National Parole Board granted James a pardon in January 2007 after he pleaded guilty in 1997 to sexually assaulting two young men on 350 separate occasions and serving a 3 1/2-year prison sentence. According to CBC News, “a National Parole Board pardon effectively seals a criminal record except under certain, narrow circumstances, such as if a person convicted of a sexual offence applies to work with children”, and in James’ case the pardon allowed him to leave Canada to start a new life first in Spain and then in Mexico.
This raises questions about how effective Canadian laws are at protecting victims of sexual abuse. The only people who can answer these questions are our local Members of Parliament.
You may also contact the government at:
Toll-free (Canada): 1 (866) 599-4999
Telephone: 1 (613) 992-4793
TTY: 1 (613) 995-2266
Mail: Information Service, Parliament of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A9.
Let the Canadian government know that they need to do more about sexual offenders.
Always remember that you may have been victimized by sexual violence, but by searching for help you have started your healing.