A man accused of sexually assaulting and confining a 16-year-old boy in Nova Scotia limped into court Tuesday to face five additional charges in the case.
David James Leblanc made a brief appearance in Bridgewater provincial court and had charges of sexual assault causing bodily harm, uttering a death threat, administering a noxious substance with intent to cause bodily harm, kidnapping and breach of conditions added to two others he was already facing.
Mr. Leblanc had earlier been charged with forcible confinement and sexual assault.
He was ordered to return to court on Oct. 23.
Mr. Leblanc, 47, wore a navy blue T-shirt and sweat pants as he sat quietly during his appearance with his hands clutched between his legs and his gaze towards his feet, which were wrapped in blue hospital slippers.
Police have said he was hospitalized before his return to Halifax on Friday for treatment of injuries suffered as a result of his exposure to the elements after being arrested in northern Ontario last week.
The RCMP launched an investigation after a woman reported that a boy showed up at her doorstep last month — barefoot and chained at his wrists and ankles — in the Lunenburg County community of Upper Chelsea, about 130 kilometres southwest of Halifax.
In documents filed with the provincial court in Bridgewater, the RCMP say the boy told them he was sleeping on the streets of Halifax when he woke up in a van and was taken to a home.
The documents say two men held the boy against his will, sexually assaulted him over several days and talked about trying to sell him.
As Mr. Leblanc was escorted out of the courtroom, two boys yelled profanities from the gallery before they were removed from the court, calling him a “goof” and saying they hope he dies.
Crown attorney Lloyd Tancock said it was his understanding that Mr. Leblanc is trying to find a lawyer.
Mr. Tancock said he did not see the alleged victim, who cannot be identified, in court on Tuesday.
Police issued arrest warrants last month for Mr. Leblanc and a co-accused, 31-year-old Wayne Alan Cunningham, whose body was found last week in northern Ontario near where Mr. Leblanc was arrested. Foul play is not suspected in his death.
Last week, Mr. Leblanc’s mother said Cunningham was a diabetic and she didn’t know if he had medication with him.
Mr. Leblanc was arrested Sept. 30 in Greenstone after officers received a report of a man wandering with no shoes and wearing light clothing in near-freezing temperatures.
Mr. Tancock said a bail hearing will be held on Oct. 23, but that could be postponed if Mr. Leblanc doesn’t have a lawyer.
Normally during a bail hearing, he said the Crown would argue why an accused should be kept in custody while awaiting trial. But in this case, Mr. Leblanc will have to argue why he should be released because he is charged with breaching earlier court conditions on a prior release.
In 2010, Mr. Leblanc was released from custody in connection with unrelated charges of possessing digital images of child pornography, sexual assault and touching a person under the age of 16. That case is due in court in Halifax next month.
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