Maple Leaf Garden's Sex offender Gordon Stuckless dead: lawyer

TORONTO — The man at the heart of the Maple Leaf Gardens sexual abuse scandal has died.

Gordon Stuckless was sentenced in 2016 to six and a half years behind bars — six after credit for his time on house arrest — for more than 100 offences related to the sexual abuse of 18 boys over three decades.

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He was released to a halfway house on day parole in December.

Ari Goldkind, his lawyer, said Stuckless had a brain hemorrhage on Tuesday and died Thursday night at a hospital in Hamilton, Ont.

"Mr. Stuckless left a trail of devastation in his wake. Of that there can be no doubt. I saw that firsthand in my representation of him over the last decade," Goldkind said in an email.

"Upon his release from jail, he made a vow to never repeat the monstrous acts he committed that ruined so many innocent young lives."

Court heard that Stuckless, who was a volunteer hockey coach and teaching assistant on top of working at the famed Toronto arena, befriended boys and lured them with gifts and activities, sometimes even getting to know their families.

A statement of fact read at his trial said the abuse often took place over years.

A report by the Parole Board of Canada said Stuckless was unsure of how many boys he abused in total and acknowledged that more could potentially come forward in the future.

Stuckless previously pleaded guilty in 1997 for sex assaults on 24 boys while he worked as an equipment manager at Maple Leaf Gardens between 1969 and 1988.

He was sentenced to two years less a day in that case, but that was increased to six years on appeal, less a year for time served.

He was freed on statutory release in that case in 2001 after serving two-thirds of his sentence.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on April 9, 2020.

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