The sentence was handed down yesterday for one of the men who kidnapped, confined and sexually assaulted a 16-year-old boy for several days.
David James Leblanc appeared in a Nova Scotia Supreme Court courtroom for sentence. Leblanc, 48, had pleaded guilty on April 23 to kidnapping, forcible confinement, sexual assault, uttering death threats and breach of bail conditions. Two other charges, administering a noxious substance with the intent to cause bodily harm and sexual assault causing bodily harm were withdrawn by prosecutors.
On the same day, LeBlanc pleaded guilty to unrelated charges of making and distributing child pornography and sexual interference. The victims of these offences were two boys, aged two and five.
As Digital Journal reported, the victim knocked on a door in Upper Chelsea, Nova Scotia in the early evening of Sept. 24, 2012. He was wearing nothing but a hooded sweatshirt and his wrists and ankles were bound by chains. He later told the RCMP he had been held captive for several days by two men in a nearby house.
A manhunt immediately began for LeBlanc and Wayne Alan Cunningham, 31. Following leads that the men had fled to Ontario, LeBlanc was arrested in early October on a remote northern logging road near Longlac. He was dishevelled, disoriented and not dressed for the weather. Shortly after the arrest, Cunningham's body was found in the same area. Police would only say foul play was not suspected.
The teen, whose name cannot be published, testified at a preliminary hearing in April. He said he was at a friend's house where he met LeBlanc who offered him a painting job. Saying they were going to get painting supplies, LeBlanc drove him to the house where Cunningham was. They gave him a rum and coke the boy believes contained drugs. He was dragged into the bedroom where he was chained to the floor and repeatedly sexually assaulted.
He managed to escape the house once but was found by LeBlanc and returned. This time the chains were made tighter and he was chained in a standing position. He testified he was sexually assaulted at least three times a day and given very little food.
Despite the chains having been tightened, he managed to escape again while the two men were out and made it to the neighbour's house where the RCMP were called. He also testified the two men discussed selling him to other persons.
The boy's mother gave evidence at the sentencing hearing. She said her son's hand is damaged and he has scars from the chains. As well, she said the teen cannot sleep, suffers from anxiety and lives in fear he will be kidnapped again.
Speaking directly to LeBlanc, she said, "You have robbed me of my son...and made a hole in my heart. You have no clue what it is like to look on the face of my son...and see nothing but a shell of his former self."
The sentence of 11 years was the result of a joint submission made by the defence and the Crown and Leblanc was given credit for the 258 days he has already spent in custody. The Crown justified the plea bargain on the grounds it will save the boy from having to testify.
But prosecutors have not ruled out making a dangerous offender application. If LeBlanc is designated a dangerous offender, he will be jailed indefinitely.