A Canadian man who was recently freed, along with his American wife and children, after years of being held hostage in Afghanistan has been arrested and now faces 15 various charges including sexual assault, forcible confinement and administering a noxious drug. Court documents indicated such on Tuesday.
Joshua Boyle, along with his wife Caitlyn, and their three young children, were rescued last October in Pakistan, following five years after the couple was abducted by a Taliban-linked militant group. The couple was just on a backpacking trip in Afghanistan then when the abduction happened. Their children were born while in captivity.
Boyle’s charges would include eight counts of assault, two counts of sexual assault, two counts of unlawful confinement and one count of causing someone “to take a noxious thing, namely Trazodone”, an antidepressant. There is also a charge of uttering a death threat and a charge of misleading a police officer. The alleged acts are said to have occured betwen October 14 and December 30 after Boyle returned to Canada.
The alleged victims can not be identified and a publication ban bars media from reporting on their said identities.
A hearing on the case has been set on Wednesday in Ottawa, but Boyle’s lawyer has told The Associated Press that his client will not attend the hearing as he is under custody. The lawyer, Eric Granger, said that Boyle should be presumed innocent since no evidence has also been presented against him. He also said that Boyle has never been in trouble before.
Boyle’s wife sent a statement toToronto Star in which she said the horrific and traumatic experience Boyle went through while in captivity is to be “blamed” for the charges, a revealing statement. She said: “I can’t speak about the specific charges, but I can say that ultimately it is the strain and the trauma he was forced to endure for so many years and the effects that had on his mental state that is most culpable for this.”
She also added that she wishes help and healing for him and that he be given compassion and forgiveness. She said that she and the children are holding well and being strong amidst the challenges Boyle is facing now. The children are aged 4, 2 and the youngest could be anywhere from six months up.
The parents of Caitlan are from Stewartstown, Pennsylvania and while they were elated when their daughter has been freed, they also expressed anger at Boyle for taking their then pregnant daughter to Afghanistan.
Pakistani troops rescued the couple and their children from their captors, the Taliban-linked Haqqani group, based on an intelligence tip from the U.S.