Sunday, April 10, 2016

Proposed sentence for Stuckless shows willingness to condemn sexual abuse: expert

TORONTO -- The sentences proposed for the man at the heart of the Maple Leaf Gardens sex abuse scandal have disappointed and angered some of his victims, but at least one expert says they show a growing willingness to condemn sexual crimes against children.

Gordon Stuckless's lawyer is recommending his client receive a five-year sentence for sexually abusing 18 boys over several decades, with two years of credit for time spent on house arrest and efforts to prevent recidivism.

The Crown, meanwhile, wants the former teacher and volunteer coach to spend 12 years behind bars -- double the sentence he was handed down by an appeal court nearly two decades ago.

Some of his victims and their relatives said Stuckless deserves a life sentence for the harm he has caused, and railed against what they consider the lax penalties entrenched in Canadian law.

Nicholas Bala, a law professor at Queen's University, said that while no sentence will ever erase the trauma of sexual abuse, the justice system has taken an increasingly severe stance against such crimes.

"The defence is asking for a sentence that a couple decades ago would've been more than anybody would have imagined for this kind of offence and I think that's encouraging," Bala said.  (more...)

Err... I don't really feel all that encouraged.

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