Nova Scotia

Former teacher facing 27 sex charges dating to 1970s and 1980s

A 66-year-old Halifax man who worked as both a teacher and a volunteer coach is facing 27 charges in relation to sexual assaults against more than a dozen youths.

Halifax man, 66, worked as both a teacher and a volunteer coach

Michael Patrick McNutt, a former Halifax-area teacher and sports coach, is shown leaving Dartmouth provincial court Thursday after being arraigned on 27 charges in relation to alleged sexual assaults against more than a dozen youths. (CBC)

A 66-year-old Halifax man who worked as both a teacher and a volunteer coach is facing 27 charges in relation to alleged sexual assaults against more than a dozen youths in the 1970s and 1980s in the Halifax area.

Police began an investigation in October 2016 after several people came forward and reported being sexually assaulted decades ago, Halifax Regional Police said in a news release.

Investigators arrested Michael Patrick McNutt without incident at a home in Halifax Wednesday morning. 

Michael Patrick McNutt is charged with 14 counts of gross indecency and 13 counts of indecent assault — the charge that was in effect in the Criminal Code at the time of the alleged offences. (Olivier Lefebvre/Radio-Canada)

He's facing 14 counts of gross indecency and 13 counts of indecent assault — the charge that was in effect in the Criminal Code at the time of the alleged offences.

Police said the 13 victims were youths at the time they were allegedly assaulted. They said McNutt, who worked as both a teacher and a volunteer coach, was in a position of trust. Police said they will not release any other details to protect the identity of the victims.

McNutt appeared in Dartmouth provincial court Thursday. He was released on $1,500 bail with the following conditions: no contact with males under the age of 18 and to maintain a distance of more than 10 metres from schools, parks, community centres or places where youths may be. 

Const. John MacLeod said Halifax police believe there are more victims involved in the case and urged them to come forward. (CBC)

His next court date is Feb. 27.

McNutt has previous criminal convictions for sex crimes in 2013 and 2015 in Halifax and Dartmouth.  

Police said they anticipate laying more charges against McNutt and encourage any other victims to come forward. 

"They want victims to know they will not be judged, and will be treated with compassion, dignity and respect throughout the entire investigative process," Const. John MacLeod said in the news release.

The Halifax Regional Centre for Education confirmed in a statement that McNutt was employed as a teacher at various local schools.

"This employment ended in mid-1990s. The HRCE has, and will continue, to cooperate fully with police and justice officials until the matter is concluded. We will not be providing any further details at this time," the statement said.

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