The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Halifax County have charged a former elementary school principal, Steve Hutchins, in connection with historical sexual assaults involving two victims. The investigation, initiated in June, followed reports from one complainant who alleged assault in the late 1980s at an Eastern Passage elementary school. Subsequently, a second person came forward in July, reporting sexual assault in the 1990s at a Lucasville home. Notably, one complainant was under 12 at the time, and the other was between 12 and 17.
The investigation, led by Cpl. Guillaume Tremblay, progressed through the summer, culminating in Hutchins turning himself in on October 20 at Halifax Regional Police headquarters. The 59-year-old former principal was charged with two counts of sexual assault and one of sexual interference, the latter due to an alleged position of trust with one complainant. Released on conditions, Hutchins is set to appear in Halifax provincial court on December 11.
While no additional allegations have been reported, Tremblay acknowledges the possibility of other victims and encourages anyone with information to contact the RCMP. Halifax Regional Centre for Education (HRCE) spokesperson Lindsey Bunin confirmed Hutchins’s charges, noting he had been on leave since September and is no longer an HRCE employee.
The HRCE emphasizes student safety and support for those affected, urging communication with school administrators or counselors. The unsettling news prompts a wider call from the RCMP for sexual assault survivors to contact local authorities.
Hutchins’s career history reveals his role as principal at Joseph Howe Elementary in 2020-2021, later moving to Seaside Elementary in 2022-2023
Your Legal Options After Sexual or Institutional Abuse
At Wagners, we’ve met survivors of sexual or institutional abuse who find it extremely difficult to share their experiences, even with a lawyer. We have a team that is professional and compassionate so you can rely on their experience to explain your legal options and provide the assistance you need to fight for your fair compensation. Abuse survivors can trust us to use the information they share to ensure the person or institution responsible are brought to justice. We take the time to evaluate the specifics of your case and advise on the best legal option to help you receive the monetary compensation you need to recover from the abuse you endured.
File criminal charges: If you take this option, you will not get monetary compensation. Investigations will be done, and the accused will be arrested if sufficient evidence is found. If the defendant is found guilty, he or she could face punishment like imprisonment.
Civil lawsuit: In this case, we pursue the case on behalf of the survivor in civil court. If found at fault, the assailant will be required to pay monetary compensation, which would assist the survivor to recover from the abuse.
Class action lawsuit: It is also possible to file a class action lawsuit against an assailant who assaulted several people. The group of survivors can come together to collectively file a class action suit against the person or institution that was responsible for the assault or abuse.
Regardless of when it occurred, if you have been the victim of sexual abuse by a teacher or school staff in the Maritimes, contact Liam O’Reilly and the team at Wagners to understand your legal rights
At Wagners, we firmly believe that no amount of compensation can eliminate the pain and suffering that your assailant caused, but there is so much good that comes from a successfully resolved institutional or sexual abuse claim. As a survivor, the monetary compensation you receive can assist you to recover from the abuse and cater to the medical costs involved. Holding the assailant accountable also restores your dignity and encourages other victims of sexual and institutional abuse to come out and seek justice as well.
The amount of compensation you deserve for your sexual or institutional abuse claim will depend on many factors. Some of these factors include:
- How the abuse affected your ability to support yourself and make sufficient income
- The type of medical treatment you need or you have sought due to the abuse
- The personal or unique circumstances of your lawsuit
We know that sexual or institutional abuse is a terrible experience, and many victims usually have a heavy burden that they are likely to carry for a long time. For this reason, we offer reliable legal assistance that you need to get the monetary burden off your shoulders. Our main goal is to build a strong strategy and successfully fight for your rights.