A man accused of sexually assaulting and chaining up a teenaged boy in a home on Nova Scotia's South Shore will go to trial in March 2014.
David James Leblanc, 47, faces seven charges, including forcible confinement, sexual assault, sexual assault causing bodily harm, kidnapping, administering a noxious substance, uttering a death threat and breach of an undertaking.
Seven days have been set aside for the trial, beginning on March 3.
Defence lawyer Mike Taylor said he wants to challenge each prospective juror to see if the pre-trial publicity would prevent them from serving.
The charges stem from a case that unfolded in September, when a 16-year-old boy claimed he'd been held against his will at a cabin in Upper Chelsea. The teen said he'd escaped and walked more than one kilometre to a home seeking help. He had chains wrapped around his wrists and ankles and was wearing only a hooded sweatshirt and a hat when he was found.
After the teenager told his story to police, a Canada-wide warrant was issued for Leblanc and a co-accused, Wayne Alan Cunningham.
Leblanc was found a few days later, wandering along the side of a road in northern Ontario, barefoot and suffering from frostbite. Cunningham's body was found several days after that, a short distance away. Police ruled out foul play in his death.
Leblanc has been in custody at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Dartmouth since police flew him back from northern Ontario.
A third man was also charged in connection with this case. John Leonard MacKean, 63, of Halifax, is charged with sexual assault and communicating for the purposes of obtaining sexual services from a person under 18.
Leblanc has chosen to have his case heard by judge and jury in Nova Scotia Supreme Court.