Joshua Boyle, held captive by Taliban-linked group for years, arrested in Canada

Joshua Boyle, the former hostage of a Taliban-linked group who was held captive with his family in the Middle East for five years, was arrested Monday in Canada and faces a slew of charges following his return home in mid-October.

Boyle, 34, is due in court again Wednesday after appearing earlier this week on a variety of charges, ranging from two counts of sexual assault to two counts of unlawful confinement, The Toronto Star reported. He’s reportedly also been charged with uttering death threats, misleading police, assault, and causing someone to “take a noxious thing, namely Trazodone.”

"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," Boyle’s lawyer, Eric Granger, told CTV News Tuesday.

The alleged actions by Boyle reportedly occurred between Oct. 14 and Dec. 20, The Star reported, citing a court document.


Boyle, a Canadian, and his American wife, 31-year-old Caitlan Coleman, along with their three young children, were rescued on Oct. 11 by Pakistani troops from captivity in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where they were held by Taliban-linked extremists.

Boyle and Coleman were held for five years after being abducted during a backpacking trip in Afghanistan in October 2012.

Following their release, Boyle and Coleman met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a private sitdown.

“The Prime Minister did meet with the Boyles earlier this week, and like all Canadians, we are relieved that their terrible ordeal is over and they are back home safely,” a statement from the prime minister's office said at the time.

Coleman was seven months pregnant at the time of her abduction. Coleman said her captors forced the abortion of her daughter after Boyle refused to join their terrorist organization.

Following her husband’s arrest, Coleman said in a statement to The Star, “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 added: “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. As to the rest of us, myself and the children, we are healthy and holding up as well as we can.”

Nicole Darrah covers breaking and trending news for Follow her on Twitter @nicoledarrah.