Canadian man held with wife by Taliban for 5 years arrested and hit with slew of charges, including sexual assault

Joshua Boyle speaks to the media after arriving with his wife and three children to Toronto Pearson International Airport, nearly 5 years after he and his wife were abducted in Afghanistan in 2012 by the Taliban-allied Haqqani network, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, October 13, 2017. (REUTERS/Mark Blinch)

A Canadian man who was held hostage together with his wife by the Taliban for five years was arrested on Monday for charges including sexual assault, forcible confinement, drugging, and assault. The charges reportedly stemmed from events that occurred after Joshua Boyle, his wife Caitlan Coleman Boyle, and their three children who were born in captivity were rescued by Pakistani troops and returned to Canada on October 13. According to the Boyles, the extremists had raped Coleman, killed their fourth child as an infant, and savagely beat their eldest son while they were in captivity. It remains unclear why Boyle and Coleman took a trip to the unstable region of Afghanistan in 2012.

Two victims, whose identity is being kept secret, were allegedly targeted by Boyle — including one incident that officials say occurred just a day after the family’s return to Canada. Boyle, 34, had previously been married to Zaynab Khadr, the sister of Omar Khadr, the only Canadian to have been held in the United States military’s infamous Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. In a 2004 interview, Ms. Khadr faced criticism for her defense of the concept of Jihad. Her brother, Omar, now 30, was only 15 when he was taken into custody. Despite a 2010 guilty confession that he said was made under duress, Canadian courts would ultimately find that he was unjustly held — leading to his release in 2015. He was issued a formal apology by the Canadian government this past July.

Boyle’s attorney, Eric Granger, wrote in an email on Tuesday that his client must be “presumed innocent.”

“He’s never been in trouble before,” Granger wrote. “No evidence has been provided yet, which is typical at this early stage.”

Ottawa police have declined to comment on Boyle’s arrest.

Read the full story at The New York Times.


Woman recounts horrifying story of sexual assault that happened on a commercial flight

‘Smug’ 20-year-old who drugged and raped his teenage sister could spend just 4 months in jail

Years after U.S.-led forces overthrew Taliban, Afghanistan is failing its girls on a daily basis

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article is independent of and separate from any views of The New York Times.