Nova Scotia

Proceedings delayed for N.S. man facing 91 historical sex charges

A convicted pedophile made a brief appearance in Dartmouth provincial court Friday to answer to 91 charges involving 33 complainants. A judge has postponed the matter until late October.

Lawyers for Michael Patrick McNutt tell judge they need more time to prepare

Convicted pedophile Michael Patrick McNutt is facing 91 charges in provincial court. He will be back in court on Oct. 28. (Olivier Lefebvre/Radio-Canada)

A convicted pedophile made a brief appearance in Dartmouth provincial court Friday to answer to 91 charges involving 33 complainants.

But lawyers for Michael Patrick McNutt, 66, told Judge Alanna Murphy that they have not yet received all the evidence police have compiled against their client and they require more time. The judge agreed to postpone the matter until Oct. 28.

Defence lawyer Tony Amoud told the judge he has 6,900 pages of evidence and several video statements to review.

The charges relate to alleged incidents in the 1970s and 80s when McNutt was a teacher and volunteer coach in the Halifax area.

Crown prosecutor Mark Heerema noted that the first 27 charges against McNutt were laid back in January and should have moved forward by now.

"So, certainly the parties this morning in the court discussed that this case is proceeding slower than usual, although it was openly acknowledged and conceded that, given the complexity of the case, that may have to be the way it proceeds," Heerema said outside court.

64 additional charges earlier this month

The matter is complicated by the fact that 64 additional charges were laid against McNutt on Aug. 7.

"It's a remarkable file in terms of the amount of complainants and the amount of charges, the volume of disclosure in relation to sexual assault allegations," Heerema said.

In 2013, McNutt pleaded guilty to committing an indecent act 30 years earlier. He was sentenced to probation.

He had a prior conviction for a sex offence in 1994, but received a pardon.

McNutt was arrested and charged as part of Program Apollo, a special investigation launched by Halifax Regional Police into allegations of sexual abuse involving teachers and coaches in the Halifax area.

In April, police charged a second man as a result of this investigation. Jaddus Joseph Poirier, 77, is facing 16 sex-related charges related to allegations he abused young boys when he worked as a teacher and volunteer hockey coach.

"There is no statute of limitation on sexual assaults," Halifax Regional Police said in a statement Friday in response to questions about Program Apollo. 

"We will continue this investigation until we have investigated each report and exhausted all leads."

Both Poirier and McNutt are free on conditions.