Three new victims have come forward with sex abuse allegations against one of Canada’s most notorious child abusers, the latest in a series of new charges against the man at the centre of the Maple Leaf Gardens sex abuse scandal.
Toronto police announced 11 new charges against Gordon Stuckless on Monday. He is accused of indecent assault, gross indecency and buggery.
With the latest allegations, Mr. Stuckless, 64, now faces a total of 49 charges stemming from four separate arrests since February.
The charges date back to 1960s and 70s, when the three men were between eight and 12 years of age. At the time Mr. Stuckless worked as a teacher, sports-club volunteer and assistant equipment manager at Maple Leaf Gardens.
They approached police this year after watching the media storm arise over new charges against Mr. Stuckless, according to Detective Constable Roger Villaflor of the Sex Crimes Unit.
“When one comes forward and then another, they felt they were no longer alone,” said Det. Const. Villafor.
Mr. Villafor said that the victims all come from different walks of life, from successful professionals to convicts.
“The range of victims really shows the depth of Stuckless’s offending,” said Det. Const. Villafor. “He had no target other than young boys, but aside from that he made no distinction for demographics or socio-economics.”
Mr. Stuckless’s abuses first came to light in the 1990s. He was convicted in 1997 of multiple sex assaults on boys while working at Maple Leaf Gardens. He pleaded guilty to sexual abuse against 24 males ranging in age from 11 to 15, in a series of crimes encompassing more than 500 incidents.
He was initially sentenced to two years less a day in a provincial jail, but the sentence was appealed and extended to five years. He was paroled from Kingston Penitentiary in 2001 after serving two-thirds of his five-year term.
The original sentence was widely criticized as being too lenient, and was said to have been instrumental in the suicide of one of his victims, Martin Kruze, 34, who jumped to his death off Toronto’s Bloor Viaduct just three days after the sentence was imposed.
Two former Maple Leaf Gardens colleagues, usher John Paul Roby and equipment manager George Hannah, were also implicated in what the Crown described as a pedophile sex ring. Mr. Roby was convicted and died in a federal prison, but Mr. Hannah died in 1984 before Mr. Kruze spoke up.
Toronto police know of several other victims.
“Some are deceased, some are not in the country and some simply don’t want to proceed,” said Det. Const. Villaflor.
Mr. Stuckless is scheduled to appear in court on May 3.