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Graham James gets 2-year sentence

Graham James
Graham James tries to dodge cameras before arriving in court on Tuesday.
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WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP)

Disgraced junior hockey coach Graham James has been sentenced to two years in prison for sexually abusing two of his players.

The sentence was handed down in a Winnipeg courtroom. He showed no emotion as he learned his fate.

Judge Catherine Carlson called James' behavior ''predatory and orchestrated to make victims dependent on him.''

"Such conduct is reprehensible and will not be tolerated by society," said Judge Catherine Carlson as she handed down the sentence in a Winnipeg courtroom, the Winnipeg Sun reported.

"[It] is every child's worst nightmare and every parent's worst nightmare."

James already served three-and-a-half years in prison in 1997 for the molestation of two boys, including former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy. He later pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a third victim and served time concurrently.

While in prison, he admitted to abusing additional victims, triggering a new police investigation.

Carlson said James exhibited the "same pattern of using as bait the establishment of a hockey career," and threatened to derail his players' hockey ambitions if they told anyone about the abuse, as reported in the Winnipeg Sun.

The government requested six years in prison. James's lawyer wanted a conditional sentence of up to 18 months with no jail time.

James pleaded guilty in December to repeatedly sexually abusing NHL star Theo Fleury and his cousin, Todd Holt, when they played for him in the Western Hockey League in the 1980s and '90s.

Newscore contributed to this report

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