Canada

‘I’m just hoping for some peace’: 2 victims of Michael McNutt’s victims speak

Two of Michael McNutt‘s victims are expressing relief knowing that the former Halifax region teacher and volunteer coach will soon be sentenced for 35 counts of sexually abusing boys during the 1970s and 1980s.

“I’m just hoping for some peace and I’m just hoping that we find a lot of justice here for me and other kids, and I just hope that doesn’t happen to any other kid,” one of the men said.

READ MORE: Former N.S. teacher to be sentenced Tuesday for sex assaults dating back decades

Michael Patrick McNutt pleaded guilty in June to sexually abusing 34 victims during offences that took place several decades ago.

The names and identities of those victims are protected under a publication ban.

The two men expressed their thoughts after sitting through the first day of a sentencing hearing at the Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

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They say their entire lives have been traumatized by the abuse that McNutt inflicted on them at a very young age.

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“I wanted to grab him by the neck and strangle him, honestly, for taking all the years of my innocence, I’d guess you’d call it, when I was kid. I was only 10 years old,” said the other man.

READ MORE: Former N.S. teacher pleads guilty to sexual abuse dating back decades

McNutt is now 67 years old and the Crown is asking for a 15-year prison sentence. The defence is asking the Supreme Court judge to give him between three to five years.

Halifax Regional Police began investigating McNutt in October 2016 after several victims came forward with reports of sexual assaults while they were students and athletes under McNutt’s supervision.

When expressing how they found the courage to come forward and report the traumatic offences, both men say they leaned on the strength of other victims.

“I knew if he did it with me he did it with more people. So, I figured if the other people were brave enough to come out, then I should too,” the second man said.

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They’re both encouraging any victims of sexual assault to come forward, no matter how hesitant they may feel.

“Speak up, get it out, so you can stop it. Don’t carry it because it will just build up,” the first man said.

— With files from the Canadian Press

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