Thursday, June 9, 2016
Maple Leaf Gardens Predator Gordon Stuckless Gets 6 Years In Prison
Gordon Stuckless, who has also been convicted of two additional charges of gross indecency linked to two of the 18 victims, was given credit of six months for time served under house arrest, which means his sentence is reduced to six years.
Some victims and their supporters shouted profanities at Stuckless after Justice Mara Greene read the decision, while one victim walked out of the courtroom in protest.
“I've had (expletive) nightmares longer than six years,” one man yelled at Stuckless as he was led away in handcuffs.
His lawyer, Ari Goldkind, had argued Stuckless should face a five-year sentence, with two years of credit for time spent on house arrest and steps taken to prevent recidivism — namely the fact that he has voluntarily undergone chemical castration for more than a decade.
Goldkind said Thursday he was pleased with the sentence.
“He turned his life around. He made a vow never to harm another hair on a child's head. While many people do not accept that...those are the facts,” he said outside court.
The Crown had called for a 12-year sentence, saying Stuckless has not shown genuine remorse for his actions and cannot be legally compelled to continue taking anti-libido medication.
Stuckless apologized in court earlier this year, saying he betrayed his young victims' trust and he alone should bear that shame.
“I befriended you, rewarded you, manipulated you. I take full responsibility for my actions in the past,” he said at the time.
“I know that I have caused a lot of harm, pain and shame to all of you. Again, I want to say I am ashamed and sorry for all that I have done in the past abusing you.”
Some of his victims and their relatives have said the trauma they endured left them with permanent emotional scars and, in many cases, pushed them to substance abuse.
They argue Stuckless should be locked up for life for preying on vulnerable children over several decades.
Prosecutors decided earlier this year not to seek to have Stuckless designated a dangerous or long-term offender, based in part on a court-ordered psychiatric assessment that found he doesn’t meet the criteria.
But the Crown had said his history of sexual abuse should be considered “extremely aggravating.”
Stuckless previously pleaded guilty in 1997 for sex assaults on 24 boys while he worked as an equipment manager at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens between 1969 and 1988.
He was sentenced to two years less a day in that case, but that was increased to five years on appeal. He was paroled in 2001 after serving two-thirds of his sentence.
Court heard during sentencing arguments that Stuckless was convicted on two other occasions of sex offences against underage boys.
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