Ottawa

Former hostage Joshua Boyle to be released on bail

Former hostage Joshua Boyle is being released on bail ahead of his trial in Ottawa on charges of assault, sexual assault and more, a judge ruled Friday after a two-day bail hearing earlier this week.

Boyle faces 19 criminal charges, including sexual assault and unlawful confinement

Joshua Boyle, seen in this courthouse sketch from May 2018, has been living with his parents in Smiths Falls, Ont., under house arrest since he was released on bail in June 2018. (Laurie Foster-MacLeod)

Former hostage Joshua Boyle is being released on bail ahead of his trial in Ottawa on charges of assault, sexual assault and more, a judge ruled Friday after a two-day bail hearing earlier this week.

Ontario Court Justice Robert Wadden ordered Boyle to be released on recognizance.

Boyle will reside with his parents in Smiths Falls under strict conditions and will be placed under house arrest with GPS ankle bracelet monitoring. 

Boyle must post $10,000 bond for bail and his parents must post $10,000 each, the judge ordered. He must surrender his passport, must not have access to the internet and must not communicate with victims or their relatives. 

Arrested after return

Details of the proceedings overseen by Justice Robert Wadden, including the evidence heard and the arguments made by the Crown and defence, are subject to a routine publication ban on bail hearings.

The 34-year-old returned to Canada in October with his American wife, Caitlan Coleman, and the three children they had during their five years in captivity in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Boyle and Coleman had been abducted while on a backpacking trip in Afghanistan.

They went first to Smiths Falls, Ont., where Boyle's parents live, then moved to Ottawa.

Boyle was arrested by Ottawa police on New Year's Day, less than three months after his return to Canada.

Charges include unlawful confinement, mischief

Boyle faced 15 charges relating to two victims after his arrest, but those charges were withdrawn in January and a new set of 19 charges was entered into the record.

The 19 charges are:

  • One count of sexual assault while threatening to use a weapon (ropes).
  • One count of sexual assault with a weapon (ropes).
  • One count of uttering a threat to cause death.
  • Nine counts of assault.
  • One count of assault with a weapon (a broomstick).
  • Three counts of unlawful confinement.
  • One count of administering a noxious substance (the antidepressant Trazodone).
  • One count of public mischief (misleading a police officer into believing that someone was suicidal and missing, causing the officer to start an investigation, and thereby diverting suspicion away from Boyle).
  • One count of criminal harassment.

The identities of both alleged victims are subject to a publication ban, along with any information that could help identify them.

Police allege the offences happened in Ottawa between Oct. 14 and Dec. 30.

None of the allegations has been proven in court.

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