Joshua Boyle, a Canadian man who was held political prisoner by the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network in Afghanistan, is facing charges of assault and sexual assault. He has been arrested in Otawa, according to CNN.
Boyle and his pregnant wife, Caitlan Coleman, were kidnapped in 2012 and spent five years in military captivity before being released. Coleman gave birth to two more children during that time. They were eventually freed by a Pakistani mission based on intelligence from the United States. The family would go on to allude to at least one forced abortion while imprisoned.
Boyle said he and his wife had gone to Afghanistan 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." He did not dispute claims that he was (also) there as a tourist, saying "Nothing is black and white of why you go somewhere."
Boyle had previously been married to the sister of Omar Khadr, a Canadian who had been imprisoned for 10 years at Guantanamo Bay after fighting United States soldiers in Afghanistan.
He returned to Canada in October and has since racked up 15 charges pertaining to incidents that have occurred since his release from imprisonment. Due to sensitivities in the case, the names of victims are not currently being released.
The charges, more specifically, include seven counts of assault, two counts of sexual assault, two counts of unlawful confinement, one count of causing a victim to take a noxious substance (trazadone, an antidepressant) and one count of uttering a death threat, according to CNN. A separate count of assault against another victim has also been filed, along with one count of misleading police.
Boyle's attorney Eric Granger has not yet seen the evidence in the case.
"We look forward to receiving the evidence and defending him against these charges," Granger said, noting his client's lack of criminal history.
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