03/20/2014 10:16 EDT | Updated 05/20/2014 05:59 EDT

Accused disgusted when he heard youth was kept captive, sex assault trial hears

BRIDGEWATER, N.S. - A Halifax man accused of sexually assaulting a blindfolded 16-year-old boy at a cabin told court Thursday he was disgusted when he learned from police the youth had been kept captive inside the home for more than a week.

John Leonard MacKean testified in his defence, saying the alleged victim did not seem upset and was not in chains on the day they had a sexual encounter, contrary to what the teen has testified.

MacKean, 64, said he was led to believe the alleged victim was a young adult and that if he felt the youth was distressed, he would have made sure he was freed.

"If I felt that young man needed to be out of there, he would have been out of there," MacKean told the Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Bridgewater.

He said he was invited to the cabin in September 2012 by Wayne Alan Cunningham, with whom he had a sexual relationship after the two met at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

MacKean said Cunningham suggested in the summer of 2012 the idea of having a third person involved during their sexual massages that cost MacKean $45 each. Cunningham told him that person was in his 20s, MacKean told the jury.

MacKean said he believed that based on a photo of the youth that he was shown and that in fact, the boy looked to be around the same age as Cunningham, who was 31.


On Sept. 20, 2012, MacKean saw the youth blindfolded on a bed, court heard. Cunningham said the alleged victim preferred to have a blindfold on because he was shy, MacKean said.

MacKean said the youth didn't talk while the three engaged in a sexual encounter.

"We said 'Hi' and there was no response," MacKean said. "If there was, I certainly didn't hear any."

MacKean testified that Cunningham massaged his and the youth's genitals while they were all on a bed. He said Cunningham pulled his (MacKean's) hand to Cunningham's genitals and the boy's. "It was there maybe 30 seconds."

MacKean said minutes later he cleaned up and quickly left.

When asked Thursday what he thought when he learned that the boy was held against his will for eight days, MacKean responded, "Disgust would be the thing coming to my mind."

"It's devastating for the young man involved."

MacKean 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, testified Tuesday that in addition to being blindfolded during the incident, he was chained to a bed, unable to move, and cried as a balding, heavy-set man who wore glasses performed oral sex on him. The youth said he was unable to gain a clear view of the perpetrator from beneath the sleeping mask that was used to blindfold him.

MacKean denied performing oral sex on the youth and said the boy was neither upset nor chained.

"There were no chains on the person on the bed that day," he said.

Under cross-examination, Crown prosecutor Lloyd Tancock questioned MacKean's testimony that the boy was not upset.

"You're suggesting that a 16-year-old boy who is somewhat frail, who has been held captive for eight days before you get there, has been chained up, who is believing he is going to die ... you're suggesting on that day he shows no signs of distress, and he's friendly?" Tancock asked.

"That's correct," MacKean replied.

In his closing argument, defence lawyer Mike Taylor said the youth's story lacks credibility because details of his captivity he gave during sworn statements to police vary from those he provided at trial.

Taylor argued that the boy didn't want to admit there were no chains during MacKean's visit.

"He certainly didn't want to admit he played any part other than anything that had been completely forced," Taylor said.

Tancock told the jury during his closing submissions that MacKean is the one who shouldn't be believed, and if there were inconsistencies in the youth's testimony, they were due to the trauma he has suffered.

David James LeBlanc, another man accused in the case, was sentenced last June 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 about 130 kilometres away in September 2012 on the pretext of picking up painting supplies.

LeBlanc was arrested in northern Ontario in September 2012. Police were also searching at the time for Cunningham, whose body was later found near the area where LeBlanc was arrested. Foul play was not suspected in his death.

The judge told the jury he will give his instructions to them Friday after which deliberations would begin.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said the alleged sexual assault took place at night.