A third man has been charged in connection with the confinement and sexual assault of a teenage boy in Nova Scotia.

RCMP arrested John Leonard MacKean at a hotel in Fredericton, N.B., Monday. The 63-year-old lives in a home in in Lower Sackville, N.S.

MacKean is facing one count of sexual assault and communicating with the purpose of obtaining sexual services from a person under 18.

David James Leblanc, 47, is already on trial in the case. His co-accused, 31-year-old Wayne Alan Cunningham, was found dead in northern Ontario after a manhunt that lasted several days. Police had charged Cunningham with forcible confinement and assault.

The 16-year-old boy told police he was kept at a house in Upper Chelsea, Lunenburg County, for eight days in September, before he managed to escape. He said he walked more than a kilometre to a home seeking help.

The teen had chains wrapped around his wrists and ankles, and was wearing only a hooded sweatshirt and a hat when he was found.

Stolen innocence

The mother of the alleged victim visited the Bridgewater court Tuesday morning for MacKean's appearance. She can't be named to protect her son's identity.

'I wish I could make it better for him, but I can't.'  —Mother of alleged victim

She said she had no idea police were looking for a third suspect.

"I felt like I had to be here. I wanted to see this person. I just don't know how somebody can do that willingly to somebody who's confined," she said.

"I'm sickened by what this person did ... [my son's] innocence was completely stolen."

She said she wished she could take her son's memories away.


RCMP arrested John Leonard MacKean at a hotel in Fredericton, N.B., Monday (Courtesy of the Chronicle Herald)


"My son had been doing pretty good. He had been taking it one day at a time. Of course he wants to forget this whole ordeal, but I spoke to him today and it brought it all back in a flood. It  breaks my heart to know that he has to deal with this. It's just going to take a very long time … I wish I could make it better for him, but I can't.

"It just seems like Mr. Cunningham got off lucky. I'm sorry."

The woman said she hasn't pried into her son's time in confinement. All he has told her is that it was "horrific" and "more horrible than you can ever imagine."

Neighbourhood shocked

MacKean will remain in custody until his bail hearing on Thursday.

Neighbour John Thomas said he was shocked to hear the allegations. He described MacKean as "a good neighbour, industrious."

"He's retired from The Chronicle Herald [newspaper] and this summer he's been doing lawn services for I guess eight or 10 customers," Thomas said.

"He was involved in minor hockey … he helped coach and things like that."

Police said MacKean could face more charges as the investigation continues.

"It was a very complex investigation and it's quite common to see an investigation evolve to the point where further suspects are identified, more charges are contemplated," said RCMP Sgt. Alain Leblanc.