A former hostage of the Taliban, who was kept against his will in Afghanistan for five years, has been arrested by Canadian police and charged with a litany of crimes, as reported by CTV News.
Joshua Boyle, 34, is alleged to have committed these crimes during a time period spanning from October 14 and December 30, with the charges running the gamut from sexual assault to uttering a death threat.
The accused and his American wife, Caitlan Boyle, were held against their will by the Taliban for five years, after they were kidnapped during a hike in Afghanistan in October 2012. The couple has three children, each of them born in captivity and each also held against their will, as reported by The Toronto Star.
BREAKING: 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. https://t.co/UNOVjoWfTN pic.twitter.com/A0Qeouhw99
— CBC News (@CBCNews) January 2, 2018
The family was eventually rescued and returned to Canada on October 13, just one day before Boyle’s crime spree is alleged to have begun.
Boyle’s lawyer Eric Granger has pleaded his client’s total and absolute innocence.
“This is an individual obviously we all know has been through a lot, is an individual otherwise who hasn’t been in trouble before, and he’s presumed innocent of these charges,” he said. “We look forward to receiving that evidence and defending him against these charges in court.”
Caitlan Boyle has also spoken out in defense of her husband, noting that the years of captivity have likely placed him in a fragile mental state.
“I can’t speak about the specific charges, but I can say that ultimately it is the strain and trauma he was forced to endure for so many years and the effects that that had on his mental state that is most culpable for this,” she said.
“Obviously, he is responsible for his own actions but it is with compassion and forgiveness that I say I hope help and healing can be found for him.”
The 34-year-old was officially taken into police custody on December 30. He faces eight counts of assault, two counts of sexual assault and two counts of unlawful confinement. Boyle also faces one count each of misleading police, uttering a death threat, and issuing a noxious substance. He is currently in police custody.
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