N.S. man in notorious kidnapping case being released from prison

The only surviving participant of a crime that involved the kidnapping, rape and trafficking of a teenage boy in Nova Scotia is being released from prison later this week.

But the Parole Board of Canada is so concerned about the risk David James Leblanc still poses that it will restrict his freedom.

Leblanc, 55, is serving an 11-year sentence for several crimes, including kidnapping, forcible confinement, sexual assault and uttering death threats. which stem from an incident in Lunenburg County in September 2012.

He also pleaded guilty to earlier child pornography offences involving young children that he knew.

Case involved 16-year-old boy

Leblanc and his partner, Wayne Cunningham, kidnapped a 16-year-old boy, drugged him and chained him to the floor of a remote cabin in the woods of Lunenburg County. The boy was held, stripped, blindfolded and sexually assaulted.

The boy managed to escape, twice. The second time, as he ran half-naked along a rural road, he managed to get help.

Leblanc and Cunningham fled once they realized their victim had escaped.

Police caught up to them in northern Ontario. Cunningham was dead and Leblanc was suffering from exposure. Police said at the time they did not suspect foul play in Cunningham’s death.

A third man, John Leonard MacKean, was convicted of sexually assaulting the boy.

MacKean had been invited to the cabin by Cunningham. MacKean was sentenced to two years and died in prison of natural causes.

Statutory release

Leblanc is entitled to statutory release because he has served two-thirds of his sentence. The parole board did not make the decision to release him, but it has the power to impose conditions until the end of his sentence in September 2023.

In assessing Leblanc, the board found: “[There] is reliable and persuasive information that you have not been transparent about the extent of your role in planning and carrying out the offences. This raises significant concerns for the Board about whether your risk of reoffending has been addressed and whether you have gained real insight about the reasons for your offending.”

The board also noted in a decision earlier this month that Leblanc minimized the effects of his crimes on the victim, who is now a young adult. His identity remains protected by a publication ban.

The board said the man suffers from nightmares, nerve damage and PTSD. The board also found he has permanent scars on his wrists and ankles from his time in chains.

Leblanc is being released to a halfway house in B.C. He is not allowed to leave the facility overnight.

He must abstain from drugs and alcohol, report all relationships and stay away from children and places they frequent, like schools and playgrounds. Leblanc must also stay off the internet and not view any pornography.

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