NEWS

Leak of Graham James mug shot being probed

03/26/2012 03:33 EDT | Updated 05/26/2012 05:12 EDT

A Winnipeg-area penitentiary where Graham James was held post-sentence says it is investigating how the disgraced junior hockey coach and sex offender's mug shot was leaked to a local newspaper.

James was sentenced last Tuesday to two years in jail for sexually assaulting ex-NHL player Theoren Fleury and Fleury's younger cousin, Todd Holt, while coaching them in the junior hockey ranks during the 1980s and early '90s.

Over the weekend, James's prison mug shot from Stony Mountain Institution, a federal penitentiary, turned up in the Winnipeg Free Press.

A Stony Mountain spokesperson told CBC News that whoever leaked the photo of James has acted in violation of the penitentiary's policy and legislation.

An investigation is underway and the person who is found to have leaked the mug shot could face disciplinary action, said the spokesperson.

James's lawyer, Evan Roitenberg, said he will also look into how his client's post-sentence mug shot was leaked to the Free Press.

"I can only say that Mr. James had and still has a very real safety concern and I hope that whoever is responsible for leaking it doesn't have dire consequences to live with in light of their leak," Roitenberg said.

Roitenberg says it's clear anyone who leaked or published the photo was not concerned with James's safety.

The vast majority of staff members at Stony Mountain have access to prisoners' mug shots, including correctional officers, parole officers, administrative staff and teachers, according to the spokesperson.

James previously served time behind bars for sexually assaulting ex-NHLer Sheldon Kennedy and two other young players. He was sentenced to 3½ years for those charges, but served just 18 months of that sentence before being released.

James pleaded guilty on Dec. 7, 2011, to sexually assaulting Fleury and Holt. He received two years for each offence, but the sentences will be served concurrently.

James's victims and many commentators have suggested the sentence was too light.

The Crown is considering an appeal.

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