Tri-City Americans

Ex-WHL coach surrenders amid sex charges

WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Convicted sex offender Graham James surrendered to police Wednesday at Toronto's Pearson International Airport and was whisked to Winnipeg, where the former major junior hockey coach was wanted on nine charges of sexual assault.

"I think there's one less predator on the street and he can't hurt any more kids," said former NHL star Theo Fleury, one of James' accusers.

Police in the Manitoba capital issued a short statement saying James was arrested "through mutual agreement" and remains in custody.

They said no additional details will be released.

The warrant, issued this month, listed allegations from three new complainants that date several years.

They include Fleury, who has published an autobiography alleging James abused him starting when he was 14 years old. The other two complainants can't be identified because of a publication ban.

Fleury said he's prepared to testify if the case goes to trial.

James, who coached the Western Hockey League's Moose Jaw Warriors, Swift Current Broncos and Calgary Hitmen, pleaded guilty in 1997 to hundreds of assaults on two teenage players, including former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy, and was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison.

James was quietly pardoned three years ago, news that caused an uproar when it was revealed by The Canadian Press earlier this year.

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