'It’s hard to sleep at night': Hamilton residents, survivors react to Gordon Stuckless release
TORONTO -- Hamilton residents and members of city council are reacting to news that notorious convicted sex offender Gordon Stuckless has moved in.
Stuckless, who sexually assaulted over two dozen boys over the course of three decades, was released from jail in mid-December and has been living in a halfway house in Hamilton, his lawyer Ari Goldkind confirmed to CP24 Tuesday.
“It’s completely disturbing,” Hamilton city councillor Jason Farr told CTV News Toronto.
“This is someone who is infamous, and someone who is going to, I am sure is gong to bring some fear into our community,” Farr added.
In 1997, Stuckless pleaded guilty to sexual assaults on 24 boys while he worked as an equipment manager at Maple Leaf Gardens between 1969 and 1988. He was originally sentenced to two years less a day in that case, but that sentence was later increased to six years on appeal, less a year for time served.
He received parole in 2001 after serving two thirds of that sentence.
In 2013 he faced 100 new charges after more victims came forward to report offences.
In 2016, Stuckless was convicted of sexually assaulting 18 boys over a period spanning three decades. He was sentenced to 6.5 years in prison, less six months for time served under house arrest.
In a split decision in June 2019, the Court of Appeal for Ontario found that the 2016 sentence was too lenient and issued a new sentence of 10 years in jail, less six months for time served under house arrest.
His quiet release in December follows a recent decision by the Parole Board of Canada based on an assessment of his current and future risk to re-offend, Goldkind said.
According to his parole conditions, Stuckless must avoid male children under 18 and disclose any relationships with adults who have male children. He must also follow a treatment plan that includes chemical castration.
Despite those conditions, members of the community, including survivors of Stuckless’ abuse, say they are feeling on edge.
“I don’t think a pedophile should be released into an area where there are children,” one resident said. “I don’t agree with that, I think... people like that should be locked up for a lot longer than what’s he’s been locked up for,” added another resident.
Allan Donnan was just 14-years-old when Stuckless abused him. Speaking to CTV News Toronto, Donnan, now 57, said that the residents have the right to know that the most “prolific sex offender in Canadian history” is living in their community.
“Gordon Stuckless decided that I would have a life sentence by what he did to me. I did not have the right to parole, I did not have the right to having a date, and when I would stop thinking about it,” Donnan said.
Hamilton police say they are aware Stuckless was released to a halfway house in the downtown of their community and say they are also taking appropriate actions to monitor him. But when CTV News Toronto asked what those actions are, police said they couldn’t share them.
With files from Nick Dixon, Joshua Freeman and The Canadian Press