Former Taliban Hostage Joshua Boyle Arrested For Assault And Forcible Confinement

Bill GormanAP Images

The former captive was arrested in this week in Ottawa on over a dozen charges, which, CNN reports, include:

– Eight counts of assault

– Two counts of sexual assault

– Two counts of unlawful confinement

– One count of uttering death threats

– One count of causing someone to take a noxious substance

– One count of misleading police

All charges relate to incidents that have occurred since the family’s return to Canada last year. Due to a ban placed by the Ottawa court, the alleged victims of the crimes cannot be named, and any information that may identify the victims cannot be published.

Along with his wife, Caitlan Coleman, Boyle was taken captive whilst backpacking through the mountains of Afghanistan, in October 2012. They were kidnapped and held by Haqqani, a group of terrorists affiliated with the Taliban. They were rescued by Pakistani troops, following a tip from US intelligence, in October 2017.

Coleman was over six months pregnant at the time of the kidnapping, and gave birth to a boy, now four years old, whilst in captivity. The couple went on to have another two children, another boy, now aged 2, and their baby girl, who is an infant. Boyle has claimed that their captors organized the murder of another of his children, an allegation that the Taliban have denied. They also deny Boyle’s claims that Coleman was raped whilst in captivity.

Boyle and his wife were travelling through the Afghanistan mountains when they were kidnapped. Featured image credit: Zastolskiy VictorShutterstock

Boyle, 34, appeared in court on New Year’s Day and has since remained in police custody. A court proceeding is scheduled for Wednesday morning, but Boyle is not expected to attend, according to a statement made by his lawyer, Eric Granger, to The Guardian. However, there are reports that Boyle will appear via video link.

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

In a statement to the Toronto Star, Boyle’s wife Caitlan said:

“I can’t speak about the specific charges, but I can say that ultimately it is the strain and trauma he was forced to endure for so many years and the effects that that had on his mental state that is most culpable for this. Obviously, he is responsible for his own actions, but it is with compassion and forgiveness that I say I hope help and healing can be found for him. As to the rest of us, myself and the children, we are healthy and holding up as well as we can.”