Freed Taliban Captive Joshua Boyle Faces 15 Criminal Charges

REUTERS/Mark Blinch

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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Joshua Boyle — the Canadian who, along with his wife Caitlan Coleman, was held hostage by pro-Taliban Haqqani forces for five years — has been charged with 15 criminal offenses, including assault, sexual assault and unlawful confinement.

CBC News reports that Boyle made his first court appearance in Ottawa on Monday and is still in custody.

After some backchannel negotiation, Boyle and Coleman came home in October after five years of enforced confinement in Afghanistan. The couple received major media exposure as Boyle recounted stories of his wife being beaten and raped while in captivity. Questions linger as to why the duo was hiking in an area of Afghanistan that was well known to be infested with Taliban insurgents.

According to Boyle, their Haqqani captors moved the couple three times and subjected them to varying degrees of mistreatment.

The charges against Boyle stem from alleged offenses said to have occurred in Ottawa between mid-October and Dec. 30, 2017. Two victims —unidentified — are referenced in the court records.

Lawyer Eric Granger, who is representing Boyle, issued a brief statement to CBC News:

“Mr. Boyle is presumed innocent. He’s never been in trouble before. No evidence has been provided yet, which is typical at this early stage,” he wrote. “We look forward to receiving the evidence and defending him against these charges.”

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