Joshua Boyle, former Canadian hostage, faces 15 criminal charges

Joshua Boyle, the Canadian man who was held captive in Afghanistan for five years with his wife, is facing more than a dozen charges including sexual assault, unlawful confinement and uttering threats.

Ottawa man charged with sexual assault, uttering threats

Joshua Boyle is facing 15 criminal charges. He made a brief appearance at the courthouse in Ottawa via a video link from the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre, where he is being held. (CBC)

Joshua Boyle, the Canadian man who was held captive in Afghanistan for five years with his wife, has been charged with several criminal offences in Ottawa, including sexual assault, unlawful confinement and uttering threats, CBC News has confirmed. 

Boyle, his American wife, Caitlan Coleman, and their three children were freed in October, five years after the couple were abducted while on a backpacking trip in Afghanistan. The children were born in captivity. 

Court records show Boyle, 34, is facing 15 charges and that he made a court appearance at the Ottawa courthouse on New Year's Day. He remains in custody and is scheduled to appear in court via video link Wednesday morning. 

Boyle was charged with: 

  • Eight counts of assault.
  • Two counts of sexual assault.
  • Two counts of unlawful confinement.
  • One count of uttering threats.
  • One count of public mischief.
  • One count of administering a noxious thing.

It is alleged the offences happened in Ottawa between Oct. 14 and Dec. 30. The court records show there are two alleged victims, however, their identities are subject to a publication ban and can't be reported. 

'Never been in trouble before'

Boyle's lawyer, Eric Granger, wrote in an email to CBC News that he is limited in what he can say about the case as it's now before the court. 

"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," Granger wrote.

"We look forward to receiving the evidence and defending him against these charges."

Boyle and his family met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Dec. 19. Boyle was arrested by Ottawa police on New Year's Day. (@boylesvsworld/Twitter)

Ottawa police declined to comment on the case when contacted by CBC. 

A man who answered the phone Tuesday at Boyle's parents' home in Smiths Falls, Ont., said "we don't have any comment" before hanging up the phone. 

Boyle previously told CBC News upon his return to Canada that members of the Taliban-linked Haqqani network killed their infant daughter and raped his wife during the years they were held captive. 

Over the course of five years in captivity the family was moved between 23 different locations within 50 kilometres of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and they spent time in both countries. 

A handwritten note posted outside Boyle's Ottawa home shortly after his arrest asked for privacy. (CBC News)

During that time, Boyle said his family was shuffled among at least three prisons while they were held captive. One was remarkably barbaric, he said, while another one was particularly violent. He and his wife were frequently separated and beaten. 

Boyle settled into his parents' home in Smiths Falls when he returned to Canada in October, but court records show that he lived at an address in Ottawa. 

With files from Matthew Kupfer and Katie Simpson