A former Halifax teacher and sports coach is facing 27 charges after an extensive investigation into sexual assault allegations from the 1970s and 1980s.
Michael Patrick McNutt, 66, is charged with 14 counts of gross indecency and 13 counts of indecent assault. The charges were part of the Criminal Code at the time the alleged offences took place.
According to Halifax Regional Police, the investigation began in October 2016 after several victims came forward. McNutt was arrested at 8 a.m. Wednesday.
In total, there were 13 victims, who were all youths at the time of the alleged offences. Police say McNutt was in a position of trust, as a teacher and volunteer coach, adding that they will not release further details in order to protect the identity of the victims.
In a statement to Global News, the Halifax Regional Centre for Education (HRCE) confirmed McNutt was employed as a teacher until the mid-1990s under the school boards that existed at the time.
“These are very serious charges and we appreciate the police for their diligence in pursuing this investigation,” wrote HRCE spokesperson Doug Hadley.
“The HRCE has, and will continue, to cooperate fully with police and justice officials until the matter is concluded. We will not be providing any further details at this time.”
Provincial sports organization Hockey Nova Scotia also confirmed McNutt was a minor hockey coach in Halifax during the 1980s.
“We will cooperate with the criminal investigation in any way that we can,” the organization said in a statement.
Police say the investigation is ongoing and they do anticipate laying additional charges. They also believe there may be other victims and they encourage them to contact police.
McNutt appeared in Dartmouth Provincial Court Thursday. He was released on bail with conditions not to have contact with the alleged victims or any male under the age of 18, and is scheduled back in court Feb. 27.
WATCH: HRP officer’s assault trial continues in Halifax