|David James Leblanc, 47, was arrested by police in Ontario on charges of forcible confinement and sexual assault. (Police handout)
BRIDGEWATER, N.S. — The surviving accused in a case that horrified small-town Nova Scotia made a court appearance Wednesday, not far from where he is accused of imprisoning and raping a 16-year-old boy.
David James Leblanc, 47, was pushed into court sitting on a wheeled office chair wearing a maroon shirt and camouflage pants. He wore medical slippers because he recently had surgery on his feet.
Leblanc is facing seven charges including kidnapping, uttering threats and sexual assault.
Police say Leblanc and his co-accused, Wayne Alan Cunningham, led them on a week-long chase across four provinces in late September after a 16-year-old boy turned up at a rural home in Upper Chelsea, N.S., half naked, chained at the ankles and wrists and begging for help. Police said the young man told them he had been snatched from the street in Halifax, driven to a remote shack, chained up and that two men raped him over a period of two weeks before he escaped.
Cunningham was found dead Oct. 3 in northern Ontario, about three hours outside of Thunder Bay. Leblanc was arrested nearby a few days later.
"Considering the serious nature of these charges, I can't see seeking release prior to trial in this case," Mike Taylor, Leblanc's lawyer, told reporters Wednesday.
Taylor is also representing him in another case. Leblanc is accused of sexually assaulting a two-year-old boy and a five-year-old boy in different towns in southwest Nova Scotia and making child pornography. He was out on bail awaiting trial on those charges when he allegedly imprisoned and raped the teen in Upper Chelsea.
Four friends of the teen drove down from Halifax to watch the short court hearing. They declined to speak to reporters, but QMI Agency can confirm the teen is safe and is receiving physical treatment and counselling.
Leblanc will be back in court Dec. 19 in Bridgewater, located about 100 km southwest of Halifax. Leblanc's lawyer needs time to review what is said to be a large amount of evidence.