Canada Levies Sexual Assault Charges Against Freed Taliban Hostage

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Anders Hagstrom Justice Reporter
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A Canadian man who spent five years as a hostage to the Taliban has been arrested and charged with multiple counts of assault and sexual assault.

Joshua Boyle and his family, a wife and two children, moved to Canada in October soon after Pakistani forces liberated them in a mission based on U.S. intelligence, CNN reported Wednesday. Boyle has now been charged with eight counts of assault, two counts of sexual assault, and five other charges, including two counts of unlawful confinement. Boyle’s lawyer, Eric Granger, said the evidence against his client has not yet been released.

“We look forward to receiving the evidence and defending him against these charges,” Granger told reporters.

Boyle and his family met with Canadian President Justin Trudeau as recently as Dec. 19 to receive condolences and congratulations upon returning to Canada.

Boyle’s wife Caitlan was pregnant when they were first captured in 2012, and the couple said they had two more children while in captivity. Boyle accused his captors of raping his wife and “authorizing the murder” of one of his children. While he has refused to say whether one of the terrorists personally murdered a child, sources close to him say he has referenced a forced abortion, according to CNN.

Interestingly, Boyle refused to board an American military plane soon after his liberation, saying he feared arrest by U.S. authorities. Boyle had been related to Guantanamo Bay inmate Omar Khadr through a previous marriage to the convicted murderer’s sister.

Boyle maintains that he and his wife were on a humanitarian mission to Afganistan in 2012, saying they sought to help “those ordinary villagers that live deep inside Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, where no NGO, no aid worker and no government has ever successfully been able to bring the necessary help.”

Boyle will appear in court via teleconference Wednesday.


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