Third suspect in chained-teen case elects jury trial

The third man accused in connection with the alleged confinement and sexual assault of a teenage boy in Nova Scotia is due in court on Wednesday.

John Leonard MacKean charged with sexual assault

John Leonard MacKean, 63, was released in November on a $1,000 surety and conditions. (Elizabeth Chiu/CBC)

The third man accused in connection with the alleged confinement and sexual assault of a teenage boy on Nova Scotia's South Shore will be tried by judge and jury in Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

John Leonard MacKean, of Lower Sackville, did not appear in court on Wednesday so his lawyer elected where his case will be heard.

MacKean faces charges of sexual assault and communicating for the purpose of obtaining sexual services from a person under 18.

The 63-year-old man was released in November on a $1,000 surety and conditions, including no internet or mobile access — including texting — unless it's for work purposes. He was ordered not to have contact with anyone under the age of 18, unless he or she is a relative and another adult is present.

A preliminary hearing for MacKean was set for July 25 in Bridgewater.

He was arrested in November at a hotel in Fredericton, N.B.

David James Leblanc, 47, is also charged in the case and has elected to have his case heard by judge and jury. A preliminary hearing is set for April 29 to determine if there is enough evidence for Leblanc to go to trial.

Another co-accused, 31-year-old Wayne Alan Cunningham, was found dead in northern Ontario after a manhunt that lasted several days. Police ruled out foul play in his death.

The manhunt began after a 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, where sought help.

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