McKiggan Hebert has been asked to investigate sexual abuse allegations against Professor Wayne Hankey and King’s College. Hankey is a former Anglican priest and former Professor at King’s College and Dalhousie University who now faces several sexual assault charges.
Hankey, 76, is described as a “Canadian religious philosopher” by Wikipedia. He’s well-known in Canada’s Anglican community and his academic credentials are impressive, but there is also a sordid history of sexual abuse allegations against Hankey, and there are questions regarding the way those charges and allegations have been handled by King’s College.
Halifax Regional Police announced the most recent charge against Hankey on April 13, although his history of sexual abuse allegations goes back more than four decades.
A Lengthy History of Abuse Allegations
In 1990, a male student who graduated from King’s in 1981 made an official complaint to both King’s College and the Anglican Diocese of Nova Scotia, alleging sexual impropriety by Hankey dating from the 1970s during the student’s time as an undergraduate. The allegation was made only to King’s College and the Anglican Diocese; no criminal complaint was filed.
An ecclesiastical court convicted Hankey in 1991 on charges of sexual immorality, and he was suspended from practicing any office related to the priesthood or from receiving any benefits of that office. In a separate secret proceeding, a disciplinary committee suspended Hankey from King’s College for one year.
However, Hankey resumed teaching at King’s in 1993 and became a full professor at Dalhousie in 1996. Prior to the 1991 allegations, Hankey faced scrutiny at King’s after a 1983 incident when he and a male student were allegedly found nude in the university’s swimming pool by a campus security guard. No action was taken by King’s regarding the incident.
New Charges Against Hankey
This year, in February, Hankey was charged with sexually assaulting a male student in 1988. On April 13, Halifax police charged him with a 1982 alleged sexual assault based on a complaint by a new male victim, and Hankey was also charged with indecent assault dating back to 1977, based on a complaint by yet another alleged victim.
King’s College is now reportedly conducting an internal review of how it has handled the claims against Hankey over the years. In addition to criminal charges against Hankey, it is expected that civil lawsuits may be filed against Hankey and possibly against King’s College and Dalhousie University.
If lawsuits are filed against King’s College, the suits will claim that the institution failed to protect victims after officials at the schools knew or should have known that there were sexual assault allegations against Hankey.
In 2015, the Nova Scotia legislature abolished statutes of limitations for sexual abuse lawsuits. Abuse victims may now bring lawsuits against their abusers even if the abuse happened years or decades ago.
Help is Here for Sexual Abuse Victims
If you have been a victim of Wayne Hankey, contact McKiggan Hebert immediately. We can help. We are already investigating allegations against him on behalf of alleged victims. You can speak to our legal team without cost or obligation, and if we represent you, you’ll pay no lawyer fee until and unless you are monetarily compensated at the end of the legal process.
You can also download – at no cost – Breaking the Silence: The Survivor’s Guide to Abuse Compensation Claims, by John A. McKiggan. John’s book provides you with the information you need about your legal options, confidentially and in the privacy of your home. You’ll learn what your legal options are and what you can do to get help.
If you are a sexual abuse survivor, you can call us at 902-423-2050 to learn more. McKiggan Hebert has received national recognition for our work on behalf of victims of sexual abuse.