did he live in the apple place paul roby
Posted in the Acton Forum
#1 May 5, 2007
A Toronto man has filed a $4 million dollar lawsuit against the Toronto Maple Leafs' parent company alleging he was the victim of repeated sexual abuse at the hands of former Gardens usher John Paul Roby.
And five more alleged victims will soon file statements of claim against Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, said lawyer Harvin Pitch who represents all six men in this new round of sex-abuse claims arising from the decade-old scandal.
In the latest claim, filed yesterday with the Ontario Superior Court, the victim alleges his abuse started when he was 9 years old and continued for five years. The sex attacks took place at Maple Leaf Gardens as well as Roby's home, the lawsuit states.
Roby was convicted in 1999 of multiple counts of criminal assault involving the sexual abuse of young boys at the Gardens. He was declared a dangerous offender in 2000, and died of a heart attack in prison the following year.
The victim, now 43, who grew up in Cabbagetown in the shadow of the iconic Gardens, claims he was lured into the arena by handyman Gordon Stuckless, equipment manager George Hanna and Roby.
Stuckless pleaded guilty in 1997 to 24 counts of sexual and indecent assault and was sentenced to 2 years less a day. His sentence was later increased to five years. He was paroled in February 2001 after serving two-thirds of the sentence.
Hanna died in 1984.
As a result of Roby's attacks, the victim has suffered loss of self-esteem, sexual trauma, and a lifelong struggle with depression, according to the documents, which contain allegations not yet proven in court.
The fear of embarrassment kept him a prisoner to his shame, the lawsuit states. "At the time of his abuse (the victim) feared punishment from his parents and estrangement from his friends and siblings."
The other five men who are about to file their lawsuits will name Stuckless, Roby and Hanna as their abusers in their statements of claim, Pitch said.
"For 35 years they've lived with this deep, dark secret," Pitch said. "It's amazing how this cancer survived – that there are all these people out there who are living damaged, flawed lives guarding this deep dark secret."
In March two other men launched lawsuits against MLSE. Michael Valenci, of Mississauga, is seeking $2.3 million in damages, alleging that Stuckless abused him repeatedly in 1972 when he was 11 years old.
In another case, Carey Durant, 40, of Marmora, Ont., is suing MLSE for $1.45 million alleging Stuckless abused him over six months in 1978.
The new round of lawsuits against the Gardens comes 10 years after Martin Kruze blew the lid off the hockey shrine with allegations that a pedophile ring was working inside and he was one of the victims.
Kruze testified at Stuckless's trial that he was among the dozens of young hockey fans lured into the Gardens with free tickets, hockey sticks and player autographs, only to be sexually abused.
Despondent over the original sentence handed to Stuckless, a tormented Kruze committed suicide by jumping from the Bloor Viaduct a few days later.
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#2 May 7, 2007
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