ORONTO — The man at the centre of the Maple Leaf Gardens sex abuse scandal does not meet the criteria for dangerous offender status, a court-ordered psychiatric assessment has found.
The 38-page report on Gordon Stuckless was compiled by Dr. Mark Pearce, a forensic psychiatrist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto.
Pearce interviewed 66-year-old Stuckless and also studied his criminal records, transcripts from his court case and his medical records.
“From a purely psychiatric perspective, it is not clear that the statutory test for Dangerous Offender designation, as articulated in the Criminal Code, is met,” Pearce wrote in his report while acknowledging that the court could ultimately conclude otherwise.
Stuckless 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, but that was later increased to five years. He was paroled in 2001 after serving two-thirds of his sentence.
In 2013, Stuckless was forced back into the spotlight when police announced fresh charges against him. He then pleaded guilty last year to 100 charges related to the sexual abuse of 18 boys decades ago.
Stuckless was also found guilty last fall of two charges of gross indecency linked to two of the 18 victims. His case is currently in its sentencing phase.
Crown lawyers in the case have indicated they intend to seek a dangerous offender designation for Stuckless, which would allow an indefinite sentence.
Stuckless’s lawyer has said the label is unwarranted, particularly since his client has abided by the law since his previous convictions and voluntarily undergoes chemical castration.
In his report, Pearce found Stuckless suffers from “homosexual pedohebephilia” but does not have a major mental illness.
The psychiatrist noted that Stuckless’ insight was judged to be very good and that he planned to continue in treatment for the foreseeable future.
“Mr. Stuckless is in his seventh decade of life and he has not offended sexually in two decades. While child molesters become less likely to recidivate with age, it is more compelling that this gentleman has accepted responsibility for his deviant sexual preference and has repeatedly and consistently engaged in treatment for same,” Pearce wrote.
“It is my opinion that Mr. Stuckless is at very low to low risk for future sexual offence.”
Pearce’s report also said Stuckless agreed to avoid contact with children in perpetuity. Pearce quoted Stuckless as saying “I don’t have the thoughts and I don’t have the urges and I don’t want to have that ever again.”
Pearce also said Stuckless has complied with the conditions of his release since February 2013 and has never abused alcohol or drugs.
Stuckless’ lawyer, Ari Goldkind, said Pearce’s report confirmed what he had been arguing for some time.
“The dangerous offender test is simple and clear. Is Mr Stuckless, who I agree committed monstrous and horrible unforgivable acts, currently an unmanageable risk to society? The simple answer that I, and now Dr Pearce confirmed, was no, and it was not even close,” he said.
“The Crown attempted to misuse an easy to understand dangerous offender law to appeal to a headline reading and justly revenge filled society. Dr Pearce saw through that.”