Michael McNutt Receives a 15-year Prison Term for Historic Sexual Abuse
Michael McNutt was a teacher with the Halifax Regional School Board, as well as, a volunteer sports coach and a youth worker with St. Joseph’s Church. For decades McNutt used his position as a teacher, coach, and youth worker, to access vulnerable children and youths to exploit them for his own sexual gratification. On August 11, 2020, The Nova Scotia Supreme Court imposed a 15-year prison term on Michael McNutt For many victims this helped bring some closure to the abuse they suffered.
Civil Lawsuits against Michael McNutt, the Halifax Regional School Board and Sports Associations
Civil lawsuits have been filed against Halifax Regional School Board and a number of local sports organizations in regards to the abuse by McNutt. These lawsuits in general claim that theses organizations and the Halifax Regional School Board failed to protect the victims and failed to take steps to remove McNutt when they became aware, or ought to have been aware, that he was a sexual predator.
According to the Agreed Statement of Facts in the criminal proceeding the below is a list of some of the sports teams Michael McNutt was involved in:
- Sir Robert Borden Hockey Team
- Pee Wee and Bantam football – Fort Needham Minor Football Association
- Dartmouth Minor Baseball
- Dartmouth Minor Baseball, Bantam A
- Dartmouth Minor Baseball Team
- Halifax Capitals Bantam C Hockey
- Halifax Hockey
- Summer Hockey League
- Brunswick Invitational Hockey Tournament
- Dartmouth Baseball Team
- Halifax Capitals Hockey
The purpose of these lawsuits is for victims to see monetary compensation for pain and suffering, lost income, valuable services, and the cost of care (e.g. psychological counselling).
No Time Limit on Bringing Sexual Assault Claims in Nova Scotia
In 2015, Nova Scotia adopted the Limitation of Actions Act, SNS 2014, c 35 which removed any time limitation on when a lawsuit must be filed in regard to sexual abuse. This means that historical victims of sexual abuse that are now ready to come forward can initiate lawsuits despite the fact the abuse happened years or even decades previously.
Chronology of Charges and Investigation of Michael McNutt
- As result of several complaints by parents against McNutt, he was given the opportunity to resign his position as a teacher from Sir Robert Junior High School in 1983.
- By 1985 McNutt was allowed to return to teaching as a substitute teacher.
- In 1994, a complaint was made to the police regarding a sexual offence by McNutt.
- In 1994, McNutt was convicted of a sexual offence, but subsequently received a pardon.
- In 2013, Michael McNutt pleaded guilty to committing an indecent act that had occurred 30 years prior and was sentenced to probation.
- In October 2016, police started investigating after several individuals came forward claiming Michael McNutt abused them when they were children. As part of Operation Apollo, Michael McNutt and Joseph Poirier were arrested on the basis of sexual abuse of children and youths.
- On January 24, 2019, Michael McNutt was charged with 27 counts related to sexual abuse of children. The police at the time suspected there were more victims and suspected they would be laying more charges.
- On June 10, 2020, Michael McNutt plead guilty to 35 historical sex offences involving 34 victims.
- On August 7, 2019, McNutt was charged with “64 new counts involving 20 alleged victims”.
- On August 11, 2020, The Nova Scotia Supreme Court imposed a 15-year prison term on Michael McNutt.