National Post

The second victim: another target of hockey coach Graham James' sexual abuse has struck back with a lawsuit that names names.

Another target of hockey coach Graham James sexual abuse has struck back with a lawsuit that names names

REGINA * For two years, he's been the unknown face behind the widely publicized story of Sheldon Kennedy's sexual abuse - a second victim of former junior hockey coach Graham James who had yet to speak out.

Now, the 24-year-old man who as a teenager endured two seasons of James' assaults has struck back with force, laying bare the details of his painful ordeal in a lawsuit that could have repercussions for the Canadian hockey community that reach well beyond Kennedy's decision to go public.

The unnamed victim and his family filed separate civil claims late yesterday against James, along with a host of other defendants. Almost no one who worked closely with the disgraced coach from the mid-1980s on seems to have escaped accusation: Former assistant coaches, directors of other clubs he coached, league officials, even the woman in Swift Current, Sask., who billeted Kennedy are named in the claims, as well as some 15 individuals and organizations alleged to have had some knowledge of, or responsibility for, James' actions.

The importance of the new allegations can scarcely be overplayed: While Kennedy's decision to go public in January, 1996, opened the country's eyes to the potential for abuse in the game, critics have long complained they produced no plausible explanation for the inaction of those who allegedly knew James was molesting his players. If successful, the suits filed yesterday would represent the first attempt to hold individual members of the hockey community up to the highest offices of the major junior system - accountable.

Named in the claims are Ed Chynoweth, former president of the Canadian Hockey League; John Rittinger, then-president of the Swift Current Broncos, the team where the victim and Kennedy suffered abuse; Frank MacBean of Swift Current, who is a former head of the Saskatchewan Bar Society; and Doug Mosher, a former Bronco scout and assistant coach who served 33 years in the RCMP. None of the defendants have yet filed statements of defence.

Among other things, the victim and his parents allege that James was a known sexual predator, but those who were aware of his behaviour did nothing to stop him. …

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