Held captive by Taliban group for years, Boyle now arrested in Canada

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A former hostage of a group linked to the Taliban who was held captive with his family for five years in the Middle East was arrested on Monday in Canada and faces multiple charges.

Joshua Boyle, 34, returned home in mid-October. Court documents reveal that soon after he allegedly began engaging in criminal activity for which he has been charged, including two counts of sexual assault, two counts of unlawful confinement, assault, uttering death threats, misleading police, and causing someone to “take a noxious thing, namely Trazodone,” The Toronto Star reported.

According to court documents, the alleged crimes occurred between Oct. 14 and Dec. 20, 2017.

Boyle’s lawyer, Eric Granger, told CTV News Tuesday, “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, a Canadian, and his American wife, 31-year-old Caitlan Coleman, were held for five years after being abducted during a backpacking trip in Afghanistan in October 2012 and held by Taliban-linked extremists. They, along with their three young children, were rescued from captivity by Pakistani troops on Oct. 11, 2017.

Following Boyle’s arrest, Coleman told 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.”

Coleman 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.”

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