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Gordon Stuckless convicted of gross indecency, but not buggery

11/05/2014 12:56 EST | Updated 01/05/2015 05:59 EST
Gordon Stuckless, the man at the centre of the Maple Leaf Gardens abuse scandal, was found guilty Wednesday of two counts of gross indecency, but was acquitted of two counts of buggery, stemming from allegations that he sexually assaulted two boys in the 1960s and 70s.

Ontario Court Justice Mara Greene delivered the verdict following a trial in which defence lawyer Ari Goldkind argued the charges of buggery did not fit a clear pattern his client had of abusing adolescent boys.

Goldkind said buggery — an old charge referring to sodomy — is "radically, significantly different" and does not fit that pattern.

"This is not viewed as a win," given the number of victims, Goldkind told reporters shortly after the verdict.

He said the Crown may try to have Stuckless declared a dangerous offender, but he said defence lawyers would fight that designation "vigorously," because his client has been "in the community for 13 years as a law-abiding citizen."

Last April, Stuckless pleaded guilty to 103 sex-related charges involving 18 boys for offences committed between 1965 and 1985.

He was convicted in 1997 for sex assaults on 26 boys, acts committed between 1969 and 1988, and served part of a five-year sentence after pleading guilty.

Goldkind reminded the court that the convicted sex abuser has never re-offended since his release in 2001.

In contesting the remaining charges, 65-year-old Stuckless told the court it was difficult for him to remember many of his victims or the assaults because the allegations date back 50 years and number in the hundreds.

During the trial Stuckless admitted for the first time that a man sexually assaulted him when he was a boy.He said his father's friend raped him when he was 11 and he would never commit buggery because of what he went through.

Victim calls Stuckless abuse story a ploy

Several of the victims, who are now in their 40s and 50s, were in court Wednesday to hear the verdict.

They say he shattered their lives because of the choice he made to assault boys over and over again.

Michael McTague, who claims he was abused by Stuckless at the Gardens as a 13-year-old, was outside the courthouse Wednesday.

"I just don't think it was fair of him to say he was abused, coming out now and saying it. Where was he at the first trial? He didn't come out then. He didn't know there would be more men.

"He didn't know there was going to be a second trial. He should have said it then. I think he was just playing on it," McTague told reporters.

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