08/22/2013 10:10 EDT | Updated 10/22/2013 05:12 EDT

3rd accused in chained teen case opts for jury trial

It will be next winter before the third man accused of sexually assaulting a teenage boy who was chained up at a cabin on Nova Scotia's South Shore in September 2012 goes to trial.

John Leonard MacKean, of Lower Sackville is charged with sexual assault and communicating for the purpose of obtaining sexual services from a person under 18.

On Thursday he opted for a trial by judge and jury in Supreme Court in Bridgewater. Three days have been set aside for the trial, starting March 17.

MacKean's lawyer, Mike Taylor, said because of all the pre-trial publicity, prospective jurors will face extra questioning.

The 64-year-old was charged after a 16-year-old boy told police he was kept at a house in Upper Chelsea, Lunenburg County, for eight days before he managed to escape. He said he walked more than a kilometre to a home, where he sought help.

The teenager had chains wrapped around his wrists and ankles and was wearing only a hooded sweatshirt and a hat when he was found.

That sparked a manhunt for two co-accused in the case, David James Leblanc and Wayne Alan Cunningham. Cunningham was found dead in northern Ontario during that manhunt and police ruled out foul play in his death.

Leblanc pleaded guilty to kidnapping, forcible confinement, sexual assault, uttering threats and breach of conditions and was sentenced in June to 11 years in prison.

According to the documents, the boy was chained inside a bedroom at the cabin and repeatedly sexually assaulted.

MacKean was arrested in November at a hotel in Fredericton, N.B.

He was released in November on a $1,000 surety and conditions, including no internet or mobile access — including texting — unless it's for work purposes.

He was ordered not to have contact with anyone under the age of 18, unless he or she is a relative and another adult is present.