A man who says he was sexually abused by former Toronto Maple Leafs equipment manager Gordon Stuckless has filed what is believed to be the first lawsuit against the Toronto District School Board related to the sexual predator.
The plaintiff, whose identity is being protected by TSN, claims Stuckless, a former hockey coach and part-time teacher at Park Public School, abused him from 1976, when the plaintiff was a 12-year-old, sixth-grade student at the school, until 1978.
According to the lawsuit, a copy of which was obtained by TSN, Stuckless used his position with the Maple Leafs to gain the plaintiff's trust.
After befriending the plaintiff and his family, "Stuckless began to spend time with (the plaintiff) and his family at their home," says the lawsuit, filed in Ontario Superior Court. "Stuckless used his positions within the school board to befriend (the plaintiff's) mother so that she would permit (him) to go to hockey games and other activities with Stuckless outside of regular school hours."
Two or three months after they met in 1976, the abuse began, court documents allege.
The plaintiff's claims have not been proven and Stuckless has not filed a statement of defence.
A spokesman for the school board said the board was aware of the case but couldn't comment further. A Maple Leafs spokesman declined to comment.
In April, Stuckless pled guilty to 100 charges related to the abuse of 18 underage boys decades ago. That came after he also pled guilty in 1997 to sexually assaulting two dozen boys while he was an usher at Maple Leaf Gardens between 1969 and 1988.
But this latest case is believed to be the first in which an alleged victim of Stuckless has sued the school board.
"It hired, supervised, evaluated, instructed, and paid Stuckless," the claim says. "It also had the power to dismiss him… The trust, power, and authority conferred upon Stuckless by the school board gave him a special opportunity to gain access to (name redacted) in private situations, created a situation of psychological intimacy, and ensured that (name redacted) would submit to his acts and endure them in silence."
The plaintiff is suing Stuckless, the school board, and Maple Leaf Sports each for $750,000 in damages. He's also asking for special damages of $500,000.
Stuckless's lawyer Ari Goldkind told TSN that at a court hearing next year, The Crown will ask for Stuckless to be designated as a dangerous offender.
Goldkind told The Toronto Sun that Stuckless has remained "law abiding" and voluntarily undergoes chemical castration since he was paroled in 2001.
If he is designated as a dangerous offender, Stuckless could be sentenced to an indeterminate sentence of imprisonment.