BRIDGEWATER – A teenager testified Tuesday that he was blindfolded and his hands and feet were chained to a bed when a man sexually assaulted him at a remote cabin in Nova Scotia.
© The Canadian Press/Mike Dembeck
John Leonard MacKean and his daughter arrive at court on Monday, March 17, 2014 in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. MacKean is charged with sexual assault in the case of a teenage boy who was allegedly confined inside a Nova Scotia cabin.
The youth was called to the witness stand by the Crown at the jury trial of John Leonard MacKean, who has pleaded not guilty to sexual assault and communicating for the purpose of obtaining sexual services from a person under 18.
The youth, now 17, identified a small black sleeping mask and a blanket with wolves on it as items that were at the scene where he says he was sexually assaulted on Sept. 20, 2012.
Crown prosecutor Lloyd Tancock asked him what took place at the cabin in Lunenburg County, about 130 kilometres southwest of Halifax.
“I was raped,” he told the province’s Supreme Court in Bridgewater. He later specified that a man he could not see performed oral sex on him as he cried, unable to move.
The youth said he is certain the man was not one of two other men accused in the case, one of whom was later convicted. He said that is because he was able to determine from a limited view beneath the sleeping mask that was used to blindfold him that the perpetrator was a balding, heavy-set man who wore glasses.
The youth, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, repeatedly wiped away tears during his testimony.
At one point, Tancock asked him to demonstrate how the sleeping mask was worn. He declined.
“I would not like to do that,” he said.
The youth said he believes the man ejaculated on the bed after sexually assaulting him.
“He was wiping something off the bed,” he said.
Defence lawyer Mike Taylor questioned the youth’s credibility, saying elements of his story based on statements he gave to police days after the alleged incident conflict with his testimony.
Taylor said in prior statements the youth told police he heard a man’s voice in the room while he was sexually assaulted, but during his testimony Tuesday he said he didn’t hear a voice.
Taylor also questioned whether the youth could accurately say that the man accused of sexually assaulting him was wearing glasses if he couldn’t see his perpetrator.
“If you don’t know if you saw his face, you can’t possibly know if he had glasses on, could you?” asked Taylor.
“I guess that would be accurate,” the youth replied, saying his memory of some of what happened is weak in part because he wants to forget it.
MacKean, 64, was arrested in November 2012 at a Fredericton hotel and released on bail.
Last June, David James LeBlanc was sentenced in the case 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 teen a painting job and drove him in a van from Halifax to Lunenburg County in September 2012 on the pretext of picking up painting supplies.
The youth later escaped and a woman reported seeing a barefoot teenager at her doorstep, chained at his wrists and ankles.
LeBlanc was arrested in northern Ontario in September 2012 after a Canada-wide manhunt. At the time, police were also searching for 31-year-old Wayne Alan Cunningham, whose body was later found near the area where LeBlanc was arrested. Foul play was not suspected in his death.
The Crown entered as evidence text messages between Cunningham and MacKean sent between Sept. 18 and Sept. 25 of 2012. The text messages were obtained by RCMP through search warrants, court heard.
RCMP Cpl. Luc Cote testified the text messages show that on Sept. 18, MacKean asked Cunningham if “everything is a go,” and Cunningham replied, “Oh, yes, sexy.”
Cote told the court that MacKean wrote back, “Looking forward to it. Do you have pic?”
Cote said that on Sept. 19, Cunningham sent a text message to MacKean saying, “I would rather not send pic. You will see tomorrow.”
The next day, the two men exchanged several text messages arranging to meet, Cote said.
He said cellphone records show that MacKean and Cunningham moved that day from the Halifax area to the area of Upper Chelsea, N.S., where the offence allegedly took place.
Outside court, Taylor said the text messages don’t provide a complete picture of what occurred.
“The words in the text don’t necessarily explain everything that happened,” Taylor said.
Tancock told the jurors in his opening statement he will present evidence that an item in the cabin contains a DNA sample that ties MacKean to the scene of the alleged sexual assault.
He said he will also enter as evidence a four-hour interview between the accused and a police officer.