Maple Leaf Gardens pedophile Gordon Stuckless pleads guilty to 100 more counts

Steve Mertl
National Affairs Contributor
Daily Brew
Gordon Stuckless, the man at the centre of the Maple Leaf Gardens sex abuse scandal, is back in court Tuesday to face 108 new charges after 18 new victims came forward last year.

Gordon Stuckless, one of the most notorious pedophiles in Canada, has pleaded guilty to 100 more charges of abusing young boys as part of the infamous Maple Leaf Gardens sex ring.

Stuckless, now 65, was in a Toronto courtroom Tuesday to answer to 108 charges involving 18 victims over a span of 20 years between 1965 and 1985.

He admitted to most of them, including indecent assault, sexual assault and gross indecency, but pleaded not guilty to several charges, including sexual assault with a weapon and the rare count of buggery, The Canadian Press reported.

“Those are counts that involve a word called ‘buggery,’ which is an older term, for what would be called anal sex with these boys – much more serious charges," defence lawyer Ari Goldkind said, according to CBC News.

"Mr. Stuckless maintains while he did some horrible and terrible things and ruined many lives back then, he never did those things to young boys."

[ Related: Child abuser Gordon Stuckless faces new and rare buggery charge ]

Goldkind said a trial on the outstanding counts is expected to begin in the next couple of weeks.

Crown prosecutor Kelly Beale is expected to apply to have Stuckless declared a dangerous offender, which could result in an indefinite prison term, CP said.

But Goldkind said Stuckless, who is on the sex-offender registry, is undergoing chemical castration injections and living "a very law-abiding life."

“When you’ve been living in the community . . . for 13 years, and you haven’t so much as harmed another child, to bring a dangerous offender application in my view is not the appropriate way to go," said Goldkind, according to CBC News.

“So again, if we call ourselves a lawful society, not just a vengeful society, Mr Stuckless doesn’t come close to meeting the test for dangerous offender."

The case of Stuckless and his fellow pedophiles shocked Canadians not just because of the number of their victims but also because, like the infamous case of coach Graham James, it tainted hockey. It also involved the Gardens, one of the game's national shrines.

[ Related: Disgraced coach Graham James sentenced to two years in prison ]

Stuckless, fellow Gardens usher John Paul Roby and equipment manager George Hannah, lured dozens of young boys with free tickets to hockey games and promises they could meet members of the NHL Toronto Maple Leafs.

A subsequent investigation documented some 572 separate incidents involving Stuckless. He was convicted in 1997 of molesting 24 boys and sentenced initially to two years less a day in prison, but a Crown appeal resulted in a five-year term. He was released in 2001 after serving two-thirds of his sentence.

Roby was convicted of 60 counts involving 42 boys and declared a dangerous offender. He died in 2001. Hannah, who died in 1984, was never charged.

The latest charges stem from separate investigations into fresh reports of abuse dating back decades launched by the York and Toronto police departments that were later merged, CP reported.

Allan Donnan, who went public with his story of being abused by Stuckless at the Gardens, said he's not convinced Stuckless is safe to be left on the streets.

“For 30 years, he was cold, he was calculated, he was premeditated," Donnan, now a junior hockey coach, said outside court, according to CP. "He thought about who, he thought about how, he thought about when."