Nova Scotia

Former Halifax professor pleads not guilty to sexual assault charges

Wayne Hankey has pleaded not guilty to previously announced sexual assault charges dating back to between 1977 and 1982.

Wayne Hankey accused in incidents involving two complainants between 1977 and 1982

Former professor Wayne John Hankey has pleaded not guilty to sexual assault allegations. (CBC)

A longtime professor at the University of King's College and Dalhousie University in Halifax has pleaded not guilty to charges of indecent assault and gross indecency.

The charges against Wayne John Hankey, 76, were first announced in April, but his lawyer, Stan MacDonald, had requested more time to obtain documents from the Crown before Hankey issued his plea.

Hankey pleaded not guilty through his lawyer in Halifax provincial court on Friday morning.

One case involves a charge of indecent assault and gross indecency against a male complainant for incidents that took place between 1977 and 1979.

The other case involves a charge of indecent assault and gross indecency against a different male complainant in an incident that took place between Aug. 31, 1982, and Oct. 1, 1982.

Police have said the incidents took place at the University of King's College and at a residence in Halifax.

The charges are laid according to the criminal code that was in place at the time of the incidents, but police have referred to the charges by the current term, sexual assault.

Hankey had already pleaded not guilty to another charge of sexual assault related to an incident that occurred in a dormitory at King's in 1988. The trial for that charge is set for March 2022.

Another court date has been set for Aug. 17 to schedule a trial date for the other two cases.

Hankey taught at the University of King's College and in the classics department at Dalhousie University for decades. He retired from both institutions in 2015, but continued to teach on contract at Dalhousie until the first charge was announced on Feb. 1.

King's subsequently announced it was commissioning an independent review of allegations against Hankey. There is no specific time frame for that review, but the university has said the report will be made public.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Frances Willick is a journalist with CBC Nova Scotia. Please contact her with feedback, story ideas or tips at frances.willick@cbc.ca

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