The life and destructive legacy of Graham James
Former junior hockey player Jay Macaulay has launched an official complaint with the Winnipeg Police Service alleging he was sexually abused by disgraced ex-Western Hockey League coach and convicted predator Graham James.
Macaulay, 49, says during stints with the Swift Current Broncos between 1988 and 1990, he was subjected to abusive behaviour by James, including inappropriate touching, oral sex and, on one occasion, anal rape.
He spoke with police just days after his story came to light in the Free Press. Over a period of months in 2019 and throughout 2020, he sat down with the Free Press every two weeks, at times chatting for hours.
With his secret out, and backed by the support of family and friends, Macaulay filed a complaint to the authorities. City police haven’t made a statement about the onset of a formal investigation, although the accusation was only lodged Monday afternoon.
"What Graham did to me wasn’t right and he should be held accountable," Macaulay said, in an interview.
Macaulay was a standout forward with John Taylor Collegiate, leading the Pipers to a league title in the spring of 1988 — just before heading to Swift Current that fall.
He had three separate stints with the Broncos over the next two seasons, suiting up for just two regular-season games and recording one assist and nine penalty minutes.
Macaulay didn’t feel he could discuss the abuse with his teammates in Swift Current because he wasn’t close to them. He was considered an outsider who’d taken an unusual route to the high-profile junior league — a mere high-school player who somehow managed to crack a lineup of budding stars.
He also didn’t think anyone would believe him. And if they did, he feared he’d be blamed for it or, worse, be linked to James in hockey purgatory forever.
Macaulay said when he returned home during through the 1989-90 WHL season after several incidents of abuse by James, his life began to spiral downward — he became addicted to drugs and was in and out of jail. It wasn’t until his most recent arrest (2017) for robbing a pharmacy that he finally sought help.
Through regular counselling, he now has a better understanding of how his brain works and why he spent years suppressing his pain. Therapy also gave him the courage to come forward and file a complaint against his abuser.
He debated legal action while in prison, noting it was a dangerous game to talk with police while behind bars.
James was convicted of sexually abusing players, including NHLers Sheldon Kennedy and Theoren Fleury. He was granted full parole on Sept. 15, 2016, and has fulfilled the requirements of his last sentence, which expired in 2019.
He is believed to be living in Montreal.
After a slew of injuries playing hockey that included breaks to the wrist, arm, and collar bone; a tear of the medial collateral ligament in both knees; as well as a collapsed lung, Jeff figured it was a good idea to take his interest in sports off the ice and in to the classroom.