Nova Scotia

Preliminary inquiry dates set for 2 of 91 sex charges against former teacher, coach

The historical sexual assault case against a former Halifax-area coach and school teacher is getting more complicated. Michael Patrick McNutt, 66, is facing 91 sex-related charges involving 33 alleged victims.

Charges against Michael Patrick McNutt, 66, involve 33 alleged victims

Michael Patrick McNutt, a former teacher and sports coach, is shown leaving Dartmouth provincial court on Jan. 24, 2019.

The historical sexual assault case against a former Halifax-area coach and school teacher is getting more complicated. 

Michael Patrick McNutt, 66, is facing 91 sex-related charges involving 33 alleged victims. The charges date back to the 1970s and 80s when the complainants were all young boys.

Lawyers for McNutt appeared in Dartmouth provincial court Tuesday to update a judge on their progress.

They have set dates for two preliminary inquiries involving just two of the charges that McNutt faces. Those inquiries will be held next April.

Recent changes to the Criminal Code of Canada are adding complications in this already-complex case. The changes eliminate preliminary inquiries for all but the most serious charges — those with a potential sentence of 14 years or more.

Defence lawyers across Canada have complained about those changes and are challenging them in court.

Lawyers in the McNutt case are awaiting a ruling from the Ontario Court of Appeal that may provide some direction on whether McNutt is entitled to more preliminary inquiries than the two he already faces.

His lawyers told court Tuesday that McNutt wants any trials to be conducted by a Supreme Court of Nova Scotia justice, sitting alone. But exactly how many trials there will be remains an open question.

About the Author

Blair Rhodes

Reporter

Blair Rhodes has been a journalist for more than 35 years, the last 27 with CBC. His primary focus is on stories of crime and public safety. He can be reached at blair.rhodes@cbc.ca

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