Ex-hostage Boyle charged with sex assault, confinement


TORONTO (AP) — A Canadian man recently freed with his American wife and children after years being held hostage in Afghanistan has been arrested and faces at least a dozen charges including sexual assault, his lawyer said today.

Atty. Eric Granger said Joshua Boyle also faces assault and forcible confinement charges.

Boyle, his wife Caitlan, and their three children were rescued last year in Pakistan, five years after the couple was abducted by a Taliban-linked militant group while on a backpacking trip in neighboring Afghanistan. The children were born in captivity.

A hearing on the case was scheduled for Wednesday in Ottawa, but the lawyer said Boyle would not attend in person. He said Boyle was in custody.

Ottawa police declined comment. Granger said he had not seen the court documents yet.

"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," Granger said in an email.

A publication ban bars reporting any information that could identify the alleged victims or witnesses in the case.

In a statement to the Toronto Star, Boyle's wife wrote, "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."

"Obviously, he is responsible for his own actions," she added, "but it is with compassion and forgiveness that I say I hope help and healing can be found for him. As to the rest of us, myself and the children, we are healthy and holding up as well as well we can."

The family met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the leader's office last month.

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