Third man charged in Nova Scotia teen confinement case
Published Tuesday, November 20, 2012 10:15AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 20, 2012 5:25PM EST
A third man has been charged in the alleged confinement and sexual assault of a 16-year-old Nova Scotia boy, on the same day the teen’s mother spoke about the case for the first time.
The RCMP arrested John Leonard MacKean, 63, of Lower Sackville, N.S., at a hotel in Fredericton, N.B., on Monday evening. MacKean appeared in a Nova Scotia court on Tuesday.
MacKean is facing one count of sexual assault and another prostitution-related charge. Crown attorney Lloyd Tancock said outside court that the second charge was for communicating for the purpose of obtaining sexual services.
The Crown said the person MacKean is alleged to have communicated with for sexual services was Wayne Cunningham, another suspect in the case who was found dead in northern Ontario in early October after a weeklong manhunt.
A third suspect, David James LeBlanc, 47, faces seven charges, including sexual assault, sexual assault causing bodily harm, forcible confinement, uttering a death threat, kidnapping, administering a noxious substance with intent to cause bodily harm, and breach of conditions. He was arrested 250 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, Ont. in late September.
Tuesday marked the first time the alleged victim’s mother attended court in relation to her son’s case.
The teen’s mother, who is not being identified to protect her son, said the ordeal has upset and sickened her.
“It breaks my heart,” she said. “I wish I could go back in time and erase these horrible memories for him.”
She said the latest charges have brought the incident “back into the forefront for him and it’s just something that he wants to forget.”
Police launched a manhunt for LeBlanc and Cunningham after a woman reported a boy had shown up at her door in late September, chained at his ankles and wrists and asking for help.
Police say the boy was abducted while sleeping on the streets of Halifax and woke up in the back of a van. The boy’s mother says he was offered a painting job, was drugged and when he woke up was already chained to the floor and ceiling of a home in Upper Chelsea, located about 120 kilometres southwest of Halifax.
Investigators say the boy was held captive and sexually assaulted for up to 14 days.
RCMP Sgt. Alain LeBlanc told CTVNews.ca that as the investigation into the confinement case continued, police were made aware of a third suspect.
“This is a very complex investigation from the very beginning,” he said. “It’s quite common that we receive more information and it is a continuing role of the investigators to assess the information and follow up on leads.”
Asked if more suspects are expected to be identified in the case, LeBlanc said: “It’s always a possibility, but at this time we don’t know.”
For Tuesday’s court appearance, MacKean was not brought into court by the back door, according to normal procedure. He walked in the front door escorted by one police officer, and was not wearing handcuffs.
“We had a deputy sheriff on standby to receive that prisoner when he was brought into the cells and we were waiting for that phone call, which we did not receive,” Stephen Brown, Sheriff of Queens and Lunenberg Counties, told reporters.
The RCMP is looking into why proper procedures were not followed.
MacKean will remain in custody until Thursday, when he is scheduled to make his next court appearance. His case was put over until then so MacKean could secure his own lawyer, rather than use the one provided by legal aid.
With a report from CTV Atlantic’s Kayla Hounsell and files from Christina Commisso and The Canadian Press