Halifax man charged with sex assault in confinement case to face trial in March

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BRIDGEWATER, N.S. — A Halifax man charged with sexual assault in the case of a teenage boy who was chained inside a Nova Scotia cabin will go to trial in March. John Leonard MacKean is scheduled for a three-day trial by judge and jury beginning March 17 in Bridgewater Supreme Court. MacKean, who was not in court Thursday, is also charged with communicating for the purpose of obtaining sexual services from a person under 18. Defence lawyer Mike Taylor said outside court that he is considering a challenge for cause — a request to dismiss a prospective juror due to concerns that the person can’t be unbiased — because of the notoriety that the case has generated. “Generally, a challenge for cause involves some questions being put to potential jury members asking them about their exposure to the case, just to ensure that there are no biases,” he said. In June, David James LeBlanc was sentenced to 11 years in prison after pleading guilty to kidnapping, forcible confinement, sexual assault, uttering threats and breach of conditions. An agreed statement of facts in LeBlanc’s case said he offered the boy a painting job and drove him in a van from Halifax to Lunenburg County last September on the pretext of picking up painting supplies. But the document said the boy was taken to a cabin in Upper Chelsea, about 130 kilometres southwest of Halifax, where he was chained inside a bedroom and repeatedly sexually assaulted. The boy later escaped and a woman reported seeing a barefoot teenager at her doorstep, chained at his wrists and ankles.

Geographic location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Lunenburg County Upper Chelsea

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