The Man Held Hostage With His Family By The Taliban For 5 Years Has Been Arrested For Sexual Assault

Photo: The Times
Josh Boyle sexual assault details

The crimes were allegedly committed in the three months since he's been released from captivity.

The man who was held captive with his family by terrorists from a Taliban-affiliated group for five years has been arrested on multiple charges, including sexual assault.

Joshua Boyle and his wife, Caitlan Coleman, returned to Canada in October with their three children, who they had in captivity. Boyle is now facing 15 charges for crimes he allegedly committed during the three months he's been home, according to CNN. 

Charges include eight counts of assault, two counts of sexual assault, two counts of unlawful confinement, one count of uttering death threats, one count of causing someone to take a noxious substance and one count of misleading police. 

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Boyle's lawyer said he hasn't yet seen the evidence against his client, and the details of the case have not yet been revealed. The Canadian court has already imposed two publication bans: one against reporting on information disclosed in bail proceedings and another on publishing information that would identify the victims or witnesses. 

He made his first court appearance on New Years Day and is scheduled to appear again on Wednesday. 

“Mr. Boyle is presumed innocent. He's never been in trouble before,” said attorney Eric Granger. “No evidence has been provided yet, which is typical at this early stage.”

In 2012, Boyle and Coleman were kidnapped by the Taliban while hiking in Afghanistan. At the time, Coleman was pregnant. 

She had that baby and two more children during their years in captivity. The family was freed in a mission carried out by Pakistani forces based on information from U.S. authorities. When Boyle arrived home, he told reporters that his captors authorized the killing one of his children and raped his wife. 

He didn't say whether the captors killed the child, only that they "authorized the murder" of his infant daughter. Sources close to the family claim that Boyle told them of at least one forced abortion Coleman had while in captivity. 

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"The stupidity and the evil of the Haqqani Network's kidnapping of a pilgrim, and his heavily pregnant wife, engaged in helping ordinary villagers in Taliban-controlled regions of Afghanistan, was eclipsed only by the stupidity and evil of authorizing the murder of my infant daughter," Boyle said at the time.

Members of the Taliban group denied the allegations. 


When they returned home, Boyle said he and his family were doing as well as expected and that he was trying to build a "secure sanctuary" for his children so they can "regain some portion of the childhood that they have lost." 

Their rescue was slightly delayed because Boyle refused to leave Pakistan on an American military plane because he was worried he would be arrested. He was previously married to the sister of Omar Khadr, a Canadian who was sentenced to 10 years in a U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay after fighting U.S. troops in Afghanistan. 

Boyle is still in police custody as of Tuesday. His family has declined to comment on his arrest. 

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Emily Blackwood is an editor at YourTango who covers pop culture, true crime, dating, relationships and everything in between. Every Wednesday at 10:20 p.m. you can ask her any and all questions about self-love, dating, and relationships LIVE on YourTango’s Facebook page. You can follow her on Instagram (@blackw00d) and Twitter (@emztweetz).