1. ITV Report

Former Taliban hostage Joshua Boyle charged with 15 offences including sexual assault and unlawful confinement

Joshua Boyle has reportedly been charged with 15 offences, including sexual assault. Credit: PA/The Canadian Press/Nathan Denette

A man who was held hostage together with his family for five years by Taliban-linked insurgents in Afghanistan has been charged with 15 offences, including two counts of sexual assault and unlawful confinement, it has been reported.

Canadian Joshua Boyle, his American wife Caitlan Coleman and their three young children were rescued from the Haqqani network in October.

Boyle and then-pregnant Ms Coleman were abducted while trying to help villagers "who live deep inside Taliban-controlled Afghanistan where no NGO, no aid worker and no government has ever successfully been able to bring the necessary help", in 2012.

CBC News reported that Boyle has been 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

The Canadian news broadcaster added that the 34-year-old was in court in Ottawa on New Year's Day and has remained in custody ahead of a court appearance on Wednesday.

CBC continued that court documents show that the charges relate to two alleged victims, and the alleged offences happened in Ottawa between October 14 and December 30.

They reported that Boyle's lawyer, Eric Granger, wrote in an email that: "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.

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

Shortly after the family's release, Boyle accused his captors of murdering the couple's infant daughter.

Boyle said the child, named Marta Boyle, was killed "as retaliation" for his refusal to accept an unspecified offer by members of the terror group.

He said the murder was followed by the rape of his wife - which he said was assisted by other terror group including to commandant of the Haqqani network.

Boyle also reported that both he and his wife had been beaten by their captors.