Jury selected in latest trial related to confinement case

The Canadian Press
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A Halifax man charged with sexually assaulting a teenage boy pleaded not guilty Monday as a jury for his trial was selected.

John Leonard MacKean and his daughter arrive at court Monday in Bridgewater, N.S. MacKean is charged with sexual assault in the case of a teenage boy who was allegedly confined inside a Nova Scotia cabin.

Three days have been scheduled for the trial of 64-year-old John Leonard MacKean by judge and jury in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia in Bridgewater.

Court adjourned Monday afternoon after seven women and five men were chosen to serve on the jury, with testimony set to begin today.

MacKean, who was arrested in November 2012 at a Fredericton hotel and released on $1,000 bail, also pleaded not guilty to communicating for the purpose of obtaining sexual services from a person under 18.

Last June, David James LeBlanc was sentenced in the case to 11 years in prison after pleading guilty to kidnapping, forcible confinement, sexual assault, uttering threats and breach of conditions.

An agreed statement of facts in LeBlanc’s case said he offered the boy a painting job and drove him in a van from Halifax to Lunenburg County in September 2012 on the pretext of picking up painting supplies.

The document said the boy was taken to a cabin in Upper Chelsea, about 130 kilometres southwest of Halifax, where he was chained inside a bedroom and repeatedly sexually assaulted.

The boy later escaped and a woman reported seeing a barefoot teenager at her doorstep, chained at his wrists and ankles.

LeBlanc was arrested in northern Ontario in September 2012 after a Canada-wide manhunt. At the time, police were also searching for 31-year-old Wayne Alan Cunningham, whose body was later found near the area where LeBlanc was arrested. Foul play was not suspected in his death.

Defence lawyer Mike Taylor said while many of the potential jurors had heard of LeBlanc’s case, relatively few had read news reports about the specific allegations concerning MacKean.

“They’re aware of the overall situation, but this case, I don’t know how much they heard about it,” Taylor said outside court.

He declined to say whether his client will testify.

Crown lawyer Lloyd Tancock said he expects to call two police officers and one civilian to testify.

Organizations: Supreme Court, Fredericton hotel

Geographic location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Lunenburg County Upper Chelsea Northern Ontario Canada

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