Gordon Stuckless, the man convicted in the sexual abuse scandal at Maple Leaf Gardens, is facing more charges, police announced on Friday.
Stuckless, 64, was convicted in 1997 for sexually assaulting 24 boys while he was an usher at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens between 1969 and 1988.
Seven men have come forward to police in the past two months, leading to several charges against the convicted pedophile, who was arrested on Friday.
“I can tell you we received and investigated more than that,” said Det.- Const. Roger Villaflor. But those alleged offences happened in York Region and are being investigated by police there. Villaflor wouldn’t disclose how many people from York came forward.
Last month, police charged Stuckless with six counts of indecent assault of a male, assault and possession of a weapon after the first two men came forward with allegations of assaults dating back to the 1970s. The men said they were abused when they were 11 and 13 years old.
On Friday, police said five more alleged victims came forward since then and Stuckless is facing an additional 15 counts, including indecent assault of a male, gross indecency and buggery. Police allege these assaults happened in the late 1960s and 1970s at Maple Leaf Gardens and other locations. The alleged victims were between the ages of ages of nine and 13.
Villaflor said Stuckless worked as a teacher and a volunteer at local community centres and sports clubs.
“I’d like to reiterate that there’s no template, or perfect time frame for someone to come forward,” he said.
“With the passage of time, [the alleged victims] have grown, and are at a different stage in their lives and have come forward, and feel more comfortable.”
“They want to see justice. I feel that they are seeking a sense of closure going forward.”
Stuckless was released from police custody after being charged. He’s due in court at Old City Hall on May 3.
The president of the Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness, Ellen Campbell, said abused men are now gaining the confidence to come forward.
“A lot of the shame has been removed a lot more from the men. It used to be really hard for men to come out and talk about it,” said Campbell.
The Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness set up a counselling program for victims in the Gardens scandal, which came to light when a man named Martin Kruze came forward in 1997.
Kruze testified at Stuckless’s trial that he was one of dozens of young hockey fans who were abused after being lured with free Leafs tickets, hockey sticks and player autographs.
Kruze committed suicide a few days after Stuckless was sentenced.
With files from The Canadian Press