Chronicle Herald [Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada]
August 18, 2021
By Steve Bruce
A former lecturer at the University of King’s College in Halifax will stand trial next June on historical sex-related charges involving two young men.
Wayne John Hankey, 76, of Halifax faces two counts each of indecent assault on a male and gross indecency.
Hankey is accused of abusing one of the complainants between May 1977 and December 1979 and the other in September 1982.
The crimes were allegedly committed on the King’s campus and at a home in Halifax and were reported to police earlier this year. Investigators laid charges of sexual assault and indecent assault in April and then amended the allegations before Hankey’s arraignment in June.
Lawyer Stan MacDonald entered not-guilty pleas on behalf of Hankey in Halifax provincial court in July and appeared in court Tuesday to set dates for a trial.
Judge Elizabeth Buckle scheduled the trial for five days beginning June 6, 2022.
The defence plans to apply to have the case split into two separate trials. The judge will hear that motion in October.
Hankey also wants access to third-party records involving one of the complainants. A series of in camera hearings on that application is set for March and April.
The defence is opposing an attempt by Crown attorneys Carla Ball and Tim Leatch to admit a statement from the same complainant to an ecclesiastical court in 1991 into evidence at the criminal trial.
MacDonald expects to argue that admitting the statement into evidence would be a violation of his client’s rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms but said he really can’t say what the challenge will look like at this point.
“It’s such an unusual situation,” the defence lawyer said of the statement that’s in dispute. “It was during an ecclesiastical hearing, which I have not encountered before. So I’ve got to dig into that.”
Buckle will hold a hearing on the admissibility of the statement in May, just prior to the trial.
In February, Halifax Regional Police announced Hankey had been charged with sexually assaulting a young man in a student residence at King’s in March 1988. The complainant reported the incident to police last September.
Hankey will stand trial on that charge next March. The defence will also seek access to third-party records involving that complainant during hearings later this year.
The identities of all three alleged victims are protected by publication bans.
A former Anglican priest, Hankey retired from King’s in 2015 but continued to lecture at neighbouring Dalhousie University until the criminal charges were laid.
He was disciplined by King’s and the Anglican Church in 1991 after a former student complained he had been abused while attending the school. An ecclesiastical court convicted Hankey of immorality and decided to deprive him of his office.
Two Toronto lawyers have been hired by King’s to conduct an independent review into the allegations against Hankey and make recommendations on how the university should respond.
Hankey was arrested in January and April and released on two undertakings. He had to deposit his passport with police, must remain in Nova Scotia, and is banned from having contact with the three alleged victims and one other potential Crown witness, a woman. He also has to stay away from any school, education centre, college, university or church where anyone under the age of 25 is likely to be present.