POLITICS

Confinement suspect brought back to Nova Scotia in RCMP airplane

10/05/2012 01:46 EDT | Updated 12/05/2012 05:12 EST
HALIFAX - A man facing charges of sexually assaulting and confining a teenage boy was brought to Nova Scotia on a police airplane Friday evening.

David James Leblanc, 47, was wearing a blue jumpsuit and was met by RCMP officers and placed in a blue sports utility vehicle.

He is scheduled to appear in Bridgewater provincial court on Tuesday morning.

Leblanc was arrested Sunday on a road in the northern Ontario community of Greenstone after officers received a report of a man wandering with no shoes and wearing light clothing in near-freezing temperatures.

Police have said a medical condition prevented Leblanc from flying to Nova Scotia for several days.

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.

The Ontario Provincial Police had said the body was recovered in an area near a 2003 Hyundai Elantra that was found on a logging road Wednesday evening close to Long Lac.

LeBlanc said he couldn't reveal the cause of death, but he said foul play is not suspected.

The RCMP in Nova Scotia launched an investigation last week 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, about 130 kilometres southwest of Halifax.

In documents filed last week with the provincial court in Bridgewater, N.S., 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 RCMP said the boy was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Leblanc is due in court in Halifax in November in connection with unrelated charges of possessing digital images of child pornography, sexual assault and touching a person under the age of 16.

In 2010, Leblanc was released on conditions that he keep the peace and stay away from places where children may congregate, like schools and playgrounds.

Court documents show that he was charged with failing to comply with some of those conditions in 2011 and was sentenced to 18 days in a provincial facility.

A National Parole Board assessment released this week said Leblanc was also approved for accelerated day parole in a March 2007 decision while serving more than three years in prison on charges related to theft, fraud and forgery.

A decision by the board said Leblanc committed crimes as a means to survive or meet personal needs, but added he was not prone to violence, though his sentence also included time for an assault charge.

"The board is satisfied that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that, if released, you are likely to commit an offence involving violence before the expiration of your sentence,'' the board said in its decision.

The decision approving parole for Leblanc described him as a "desperate man'' who turned to crime when he was unable to secure a job or social assistance.

"The question becomes one of how far you are prepared to go to meet personal needs,'' wrote board member Pat O'Brien.