Freed Taliban Hostage Faces Sexual Assault, Unlawful Confinement Charges in Canada

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A Canadian man who spent five years with his family in militant captivity in Afghanistan was arrested in Ottawa, his lawyer said.

Freed Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle talks on the phone outside his family home in Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada, on Oct. 14, 2017. (Credit: MIKE CARROCCETTO/AFP/Getty Images)

Freed Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle talks on the phone outside his family home in Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada, on Oct. 14, 2017. (Credit: MIKE CARROCCETTO/AFP/Getty Images)

Joshua Boyle and his American wife, Caitlan Coleman, returned to Canada in October with their three children. Now, Boyle is facing 15 charges in connection with incidents alleged to have occurred since the family’s arrival in Canada, according to Canadian media reports citing court documents.

CNN has not seen the court documents. Boyle’s attorney told CNN the charges were accurate as reported. According to Canadian media reports, the charges 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

Lawyer Eric Granger said he has not seen the evidence against his client, “which is typical at this early stage,” he told CNN. He pointed out two publication bans in place: one against reporting information disclosed in bail proceedings, and another on information that would identify potential victims or witnesses.

“We look forward to receiving the evidence and defending him against these charges,” Granger said, noting his client is presumed innocent and has never been in trouble before.

The couple was kidnapped in Afghanistan by terrorists from the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network in 2012. Coleman was pregnant and the couple had two more children during their five years in captivity. The couple and their children were freed in a mission carried out by Pakistani forces based on intelligence from U.S. authorities.

Upon arriving at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport in October, Boyle told reporters his captors authorized the killing of one of his children and raped his wife. He did not say whether the militants killed a child, only that his captors were responsible for “authorizing the murder” of his infant daughter. Sources close to the family said Boyle alluded to at least one forced abortion while in captivity.

Details of their harrowing detention made headlines worldwide. The couple met Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in December and shared images from the visit from their Twitter account, the Boyle Family.

After his return, Boyle told CNN’s Paula Newton the family was doing as well as could be expected. He said his goal in Canada was to build “a secure sanctuary” for his children and help them “regain some portion of the childhood that they have lost.”

Boyle was previously married to the sister of Omar Khadr, a Canadian imprisoned for 10 years at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after fighting U.S. troops in Afghanistan. A senior official said Boyle refused to board an American military plane over concerns he could face arrest. Boyle said his family had been delayed due to a medical emergency surrounding one of his children.

As of Tuesday, Boyle remained in police custody, Granger said. He is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday morning in Ottawa via video conference.

Boyle’s brother, Dan Boyle, declined to comment. His parents did not return calls Tuesday afternoon.

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