Confinement case suspect released on $1,000 bail
Published Thursday, November 22, 2012 1:41PM AST
Last Updated Thursday, November 22, 2012 7:08PM AST
The third man accused in the alleged confinement and sexual assault of a 16-year-old Nova Scotia boy has been released from jail.
John Leonard MacKean, also known as Len, walked out of Bridgewater provincial court Thursday after his daughter posted his bail of $1,000.
Both MacKean, 63, and his daughter declined comment and attempted to dodge the media’s cameras as they left the courthouse.
“He’s relieved that he’s going to be released,” says MacKean’s defence lawyer, Mike Taylor.
“I can say that much because he’s been in custody for a couple of days now and it’s certainly something that’s unfamiliar to him.”
Until Monday, the former Chronicle Herald employee had only ever faced an impaired driving charge.
He is now looking at charges of sexual assault and communicating for the purpose of obtaining sexual services in connection with the confinement case.
The boy’s mother, who cannot be identified, says her son was offered a job painting, but was instead drugged and woke up to find himself chained to the floor and ceiling of the home in Upper Chelsea in September.
He claims he was held against his will by two men, and sexually assaulted for a period of up to two weeks.
David James LeBlanc is also facing charges in connection with the alleged incident.
Another suspect in the case, Wayne Alan Cunningham, was found dead in northern Ontario, close to where LeBlanc was arrested. Foul play is not suspected in his death.
Police arrested MacKean on Monday at a hotel in Fredericton.
The boy’s mother learned about MacKean’s release at court Thursday morning.
“I don’t agree with it. I think that they should keep him locked up,” she says.
MacKean was released under the condition he is not to be around people under the age of 18 unless they are family, and even then there must be an adult present.
Unless he is working, he is not allowed to leave Nova Scotia without notifying the RCMP and he is not allowed to use a wireless texting device.
MacKean is back at home in Lower Sackville, which is making some of his neighbours feel uneasy.
“I know there’s a lot of young families in the neighbourhood and that’s kind of scary,” says one area resident.
“I think the court system is way too lenient,” says another.
Crown prosecutor Lloyd Tancock says suspects accused of serious offences do get released on bail sometimes, depending on the circumstances.
“It’s the matter of whether we can minimize risk to the public, and in this particular case, I’m satisfied that we can do that,” says Tancock.
“People get released on murder, so just because the charges are sex-related, or any type of charge, that’s not the reason to hold someone,” says Taylor.
The boy’s mother says she realizes MacKean has to have his day in court, but she wishes it didn’t have to be that way.
“I think people will be watching him more closely and that’s probably a good thing.”
MacKean is due back in court to enter a plea in January.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kayla Hounsell
The home in Upper Chelsea, N.S., where a boy was allegedly held captive and sexually assaulted is seen.