Nova Scotia

Man who chained teen in Lunenburg County cabin denied parole

David James Leblanc, 53, was sentenced in 2013 to 11 years in prison for charges related to one of the most disturbing crimes in recent Nova Scotia history.

Warning: This story contains graphic details

David James Leblanc is shown outside a Nova Scotia courthouse in 2013.

A man convicted in one of the most disturbing crimes in recent Nova Scotia history has been refused early release from prison, with the parole board describing him as a "serious risk to the vulnerable males in the community."

David James Leblanc, 53, was sentenced in 2013 to 11 years in prison for charges including kidnapping, unlawful confinement, sexual assault and child pornography.

Leblanc and an accomplice, Wayne Cunningham, kidnapped a 16-year-old boy, drugged him and chained him up in a remote cabin in the woods in Nova Scotia's Lunenburg County in the fall of 2012.

The two men repeatedly sexually assaulted the boy, threatened to kill him and even brought in a third man to sexually assault him. It was only when the boy managed to escape and run for help that the ordeal came to an end.

In a recent decision denying Leblanc parole, the Parole Board of Canada noted the young man suffered nightmares, memory loss and scars and nerve damage where his wrists and ankles had been chained. He is still afraid of being outside and suffers from PTSD.

'Very manipulative individual'

Once the boy escaped, Leblanc and Cunningham fled. Cunningham was found dead in northern Ontario, where Leblanc was arrested. The parole board notes Leblanc lost four toes to frostbite from his time on the run, and had to be wheeled into court in a wheelchair during each of his appearances.

The board also revealed in its report that Leblanc and Cunningham had attempted suicide by taking Gravol pills and using a pipe to pump exhaust fumes into their car. Leblanc did not remember leaving the vehicle.

Leblanc is serving his sentence in British Columbia. Correctional authorities will not reveal which facility he is being held in for security reasons. Leblanc transferred to the West Coast in 2014 because, the board noted, he was having trouble integrating with the inmate population in his home province.

Leblanc has undergone several treatments and assessments while he's been in prison. The outcome of some of these was troubling to the board members.

"In sum, the psychologist assessed you as a very manipulative individual who poses a serious risk to the vulnerable males in the community and has carefully calibrated and maintained a more sympathetic version of his history, relationships and offending."

Wanted to live in halfway house

The board noted that in interviews, Leblanc has tried to deflect blame for his crimes on his dead partner.

In addition to kidnapping the teenager, Leblanc pleaded guilty to child pornography charges. He photographed two very young boys but he claimed that it was Cunningham, and not him, who posted the images to the internet.

Leblanc had been proposing that he be released to a halfway house in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. But the board found the risk was just too great.

"Your understanding of your risk factors was superficial at best," the board concluded. "At times, it also appeared that you were simply telling the Board what you thought the Board wanted to hear."