Guilty plea 'on the table' as Stuckless faces new sexual abuse charges
Convicted pedophile Gordon Stuckless leaves a Toronto Court on Friday, March 6, 2015. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press)
Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, November 17, 2016 11:00AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, November 17, 2016 1:07PM EST
TORONTO -- A guilty plea is "very much on the table" for the man at the heart of the Maple Leaf Gardens sex abuse scandal as he faces new charges related to the sexual abuse of boys while he was working at the famed arena, his lawyer said Thursday.
But there is a chance Gordon Stuckless could challenge some of the allegations, as he has done in the past, Ari Goldkind said after a brief hearing in a Toronto courtroom.
"There is always a chance of a guilty plea when it comes to Mr. Stuckless if what these charges suggest matches what Mr. Stuckless has for many years admitted and been willing to take responsibility for," Goldkind said.
Stuckless, 67, is accused of sexually assaulting three boys between 1978 and 1984.
He is charged with three counts of sexual assault, four counts of buggery, four counts of indecent assault, six counts of gross indecency, and two counts of threatening death.
Goldkind suggested the charges for buggery -- a charge that no longer exists and refers to sodomy -- could be contested, since Stuckless has previously denied such allegations and been acquitted.
Two years ago, Stuckless pleaded guilty to more than 100 charges for the crimes he committed against 18 young boys between 1965 and 1985.
He was also convicted of two additional charges of gross indecency linked to two of the victims but cleared on two counts of buggery. The trial judge said that while Stuckless had "probably" committed buggery, that was not enough to convict him on those charges.
In June, he was sentenced to 6.5 years in prison, but was given credit of six months for time served under house arrest.
Prosecutors have appealed that sentence, saying the penalty he received does not reflect the severity of his crimes.
Stuckless waived his right to a bail hearing on the new charges since he is already behind bars.
The former assistant teacher and volunteer coach had also previously pleaded guilty in 1997 for sex assaults on 24 boys while he worked as an equipment manager 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 six years, less a year for pre-trial custody. He was paroled in 2001 after serving two-thirds of his sentence.
He was convicted on three other occasions of sex offences against a total of nine underage boys, according to court records.