A man charged with confining and sexually assaulting a 16-year-old boy looked tired and confused as he made his first appearance in a Nova Scotia courtroom on Tuesday morning.
David James Leblanc, 47, spent the holiday weekend behind bars at the Central Nova Correctional Facility in Burnside and was in Bridgewater courtroom Tuesday to be arraigned on seven charges in a case that has drawn media attention from across the country.
Five new charges have been added, including administering a noxious substance, sexual assault causing bodily harm, kidnapping and uttering a death threat.
Leblanc, sporting an all blue outfit and slippers, walked into court unshaven and with a limp and never said anything during the short proceeding. He has been remanded back to jail and will return to court Oct. 23 for a bail hearing.
During the proceeding, two male youths were kicked out of the courtroom. One told Leblanc he would see him in jail and the other said he hoped he died.
Leblanc was taken into custody a week ago Sunday by police in northern Ontario after a warrant was issued for his arrest. He then spent five days in hospital before being flown back to Halifax in a police plane on Friday evening.
Police launched an investigation two weeks ago after a woman reported that a boy – barefoot and chained at his wrists and ankles – showed up at her doorstep in the Lunenburg County community of Upper Chelsea.
In documents filed with the provincial court in Bridgewater, RCMP Const. Timothy Cole said a 16-year-old boy told them he was sleeping on the streets of Halifax last month when he woke up in a van and was taken to a home.
Cole said two men held the boy against his will, sexually assaulted him over several days and talked about trying to sell him.
The search for the co-accused in the case, 31-year-old Wayne Alan Cunningham, ended Thursday when his body was found in a densely wooded area close to where Leblanc was arrested, police said. Foul play isn’t suspected in the death. – with files from The Canadian Press.