WINNIPEG — Convicted sex offender Graham James’s efforts to hide his current appearance were unmasked on Saturday with the leak of a photo purportedly taken in the Manitoba prison where he’s being held.
The photo, in which the disgraced former hockey coach appears gaunt with his head closely shaven, was posted on the website of the Winnipeg Free Press.
The newspaper reported the photo was a mugshot taken at Stoney Mountain Institution, but did not indicate how it obtained the image.
Last Monday James hid behind a red ski mask as he entered a Winnipeg courthouse to be sentenced on two charges of sexual assault. A photo of the masked James later received prominent play in the media and on the Internet.
And he appears to be wearing the same street clothes in the photo that appeared on the Free Press website as he was wearing heading into court Monday.
James was sentenced to two years in prison for hundreds of sexual assaults on two of his teenage players.
In a plea bargain arrangement he agreed to plead guilty to sexually abusing retired NHL star Theo Fleury and his cousin, Todd Holt, in exchange for the Crown agreeing not to proceed with a third charge.
The assaults happened when Fleury and Holt played for James in the Western Hockey League in the 1980s and ’90s.
The sentence has been criticized by his victims, and by many others, as being far too light.
Federal law allows people to apply for full parole after serving one-third of their sentence — which means James could be eligible for day parole in September and full parole in November.
The Crown is reviewing the sentence, and has 30 days to decide whether to appeal.
It’s the second prison sentence for James.
He got out of jail in 2000 and promptly dropped out of public view after serving 18 months of a 3 1/2 year-sentence for molesting former NHL’er Sheldon Kennedy and two other players.