TORONTO — Prosecutors have decided not to seek dangerous offender status for the man at the heart of the Maple Leaf Gardens sex abuse scandal, his defence lawyer said Tuesday.
Ari Goldkind said the Crown has also chosen not to pursue long-term offender status for Gordon Stuckless, who pleaded guilty last year to 100 charges related to the sexual abuse of 18 boys decades ago.
Stuckless was later found guilty of two additional charges of gross indecency linked to two of the 18 victims. His case is currently in its sentencing phase.
“The bottom line is they’re seeking some kind of sentence that’s a regular sentence, whether it be one year, two years, five years, something like that,” Goldkind said outside court after a brief hearing.
The Crown has been asked to clarifying what sentence it will seek by late January, he said.
Prosecutors had previously indicated they wanted Stuckless labelled a dangerous offender, which would allow an indefinite sentence.
A long-term offender designation, meanwhile, can result in supervision of up to 10 years in the community after incarceration.
Goldkind has long said the dangerous offender label is unwarranted, particularly since his client has abided by the law since his previous convictions and voluntarily undergoes chemical castration.
Stuckless remains under house arrest while on bail and must be accompanied by his brother when he leaves the home.
This fall, a court-ordered psychiatric assessment found Stuckless did not meet the criteria for dangerous offender status, while recognizing that the court could reach a different conclusion.
The defence lawyer suggested Tuesday’s decision was linked to the results of the psychiatric report.
“While Mr. Stuckless certainly is one of the worst offenders in Canadian history — and I’ve been very open about the lives he’s ruined and I’ve never sugarcoated that — by any interpretation of the laws of our land…Mr. Stuckless is not a dangerous offender or long-term offender,” he said.
Stuckless also pleaded guilty in 1997 for sex assaults on 24 boys while he was an usher 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 later increased to five years. He was paroled in 2001 after serving two-thirds of his sentence.