Last time we saw him, Canadian man Joshua Boyle was thanking reporters at Toronto’s airport in October. He was relieved and grateful after finally being rescued from the Taliban-linked extremist group Haqqani in Afghanistan. He and his American wife, Caitlin Coleman, had been held hostage for five years.
Boyle at the time said Coleman and their three children who were born in captivity – aged four, two and two months – were recovering slowly. His middle child, he said later, was struggling with the transition into freedom, as everything reminded him of the terrors they’d faced. His wife had been raped repeatedly at the hands of the extremists, Boyle claimed. And another child, a daughter, had died in captivity when she was just a baby.
Now, 34-year-old Boyle has been charged with 15 offences including sexual assault, unlawful confinement, and uttering death threats. He appeared in an Ottawa court on Monday and remains in police custody, AAP reports.
The alleged offences took place in Ottawa between October 14 and December 30.
"Mr. Boyle is presumed innocent. He's never been in trouble before. No evidence has been provided yet, which is typical at this early stage," Boyle's lawyer, Eric Granger, wrote in an email, adding that he is limited in what he can say.
"We look forward to receiving the evidence and defending him against these charges."
A court-ordered ban prevents publication of information that would identify any of the alleged victims or any evidence submissions or information disclosed in the bail proceedings, AAP reports.
The 15 charges against Boyle also include eight counts of assault, one count of causing someone to "take a noxious thing" and one count of misleading police, according to the Toronto Star.
Boyle and Coleman, who was pregnant at the time they were abducted, were captured by militants of the Haqqani network while backpacking in Taliban-controlled areas of Afghanistan in 2012. They were rescued in October in a dramatic commando raid by Pakistani forces.
Listen to the latest episode of Mamamia Out Loud.