Former Halifax teacher charged with sex-related offences against 13 youths
A Halifax man has been charged with a slew of historic sex-related offences.
Michael Patrick McNutt is a former teacher and coach.
It's alleged he assaulted more than a dozen boys in the 1970s and 80s throughout the Halifax Regional Municipality.
In total, the 66-year-old is facing 27 charges, including 14 counts of gross indecency and 13 counts of indecent assault.
“The charges need to reflect the time when those charges were in place and historically in the 70s & 80s they reflect the criminal code from that time,” said Halifax police spokesman Const. John MacLeod.
Police say they started an investigation into McNutt in October 2016 after several alleged victims reported assaults.
The 13 complainants were youths at the time of the alleged offences.
Police say McNutt was in a position of trust in relation to the complainants -- either as a teacher or volunteer coach.
The Halifax Regional Centre for Education says they are co-operating with police.
In a statement, a spokesperson said in part:
“These are very serious charges and we appreciate the police for their diligence in pursuing this investigation. As the police indicate, the accused was previously employed as a teacher. We can confirm that employment would have been with predecessor school boards to the Halifax Regional Centre for Education. This employment ended in mid-1990s.”
Hockey Nova Scotia also released a statement on the allegations this afternoon.
It reads: “Hockey Nova Scotia is aware of the criminal charges that have been filed against Michael Patrick McNutt and can confirm he was a minor hockey coach in Halifax during the 1980s. We will co-operate with the criminal investigation in any way that we can. As this matter is currently before the courts, we will not be commenting further.”
In addition to the criminal charges laid against McNutt, CTV found multiple lawsuits that have been filed with the court involving McNutt which detail allegations of abuse.
Police say their investigation remains ongoing and they anticipate laying additional charges.
“Our investigators do believe that there may be more victims out there and they would encourage anyone whose been a victim of sexualized violence to come forward and report it to police,” MacLeod said.
McNutt was released from custody on $1,500 bail and a number of conditions, including not to have contact with males under the age of 18 and to stay at least 10 metres from schools and parks.
None of the allegations have been tested in court.
McNutt is scheduled to return to court on Feb. 27.
Police say sexual assault investigations are complex and are encouraging anyone who may have been a victim to contact investigators, or if they are not comfortable doing that, to contact crime stoppers.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Natasha Pace.