Canadian man held hostage with family in Afghanistan charged with sexual assault

Joshua Boyle.
(Image credit: Mike Carroccetto/AFP/Getty Images)

Joshua Boyle, the Canadian man who was held by militants in Afghanistan for five years and freed last October along with his wife and three children, was arrested in Ottawa on Tuesday, his lawyer said.

Canadian media reports that Boyle has been charged with eight counts of assault, two counts of sexual assault, two counts of unlawful confinement, one count of uttering death threats, one count of causing someone to take a noxious substance, and one count of misleading police, with the incidents all alleged to have happened since Boyle returned to Canada, CNN reports. His attorney, Eric Granger, told CNN his client has never been in any legal trouble before, and he looks forward to "receiving the evidence and defending him against these charges."

While on a backpacking trip through Afghanistan in 2012, Boyle and his American wife, Caitlan Coleman, were kidnapped by members of the Haqqani network, an insurgent group linked to the Taliban. Coleman was pregnant at the time, and she had two more children while in captivity. They were freed by Pakistani forces, who used U.S. intelligence to plan the mission, and their release garnered worldwide attention. Boyle told CNN at the time he wanted his kids to live in a "secure sanctuary" and "regain some portion of the childhood that they have lost."

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