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Freed Taliban hostage faces assault charges in Canada - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Freed Taliban hostage faces assault charges in Canada

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A screengrab of a Youtube video published by Taliban media in 2016 shows Caitlan Coleman, Joshua Boyle and their children. (Photo via CNN). A screengrab of a Youtube video published by Taliban media in 2016 shows Caitlan Coleman, Joshua Boyle and their children. (Photo via CNN).

(CNN) - A Canadian man who spent five years with his family in militant captivity in Afghanistan was arrested in Ottawa, his lawyer said.

Joshua Boyle and his American wife, Caitlan Coleman, returned to Canada in October with their three children. Now, Boyle is facing 15 charges in connection with incidents alleged to have occurred since the family's arrival in Canada, according to Canadian media reports citing court documents.

CNN has not seen the court documents. Boyle's attorney told CNN the charges were accurate as reported. According to Canadian media reports, the charges include:

    - 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

    - One count of misleading police

    Lawyer Eric Granger said he has not seen the evidence against his client, "which is typical at this early stage," he told CNN. He noted the court imposed two publication bans allowed by Canadian law: one against reporting information disclosed in bail proceedings, and another on information that would identify potential victims or witnesses.

    "We look forward to receiving the evidence and defending him against these charges," Granger said, noting his client is presumed innocent and has never been in trouble before.

    The couple was kidnapped in Afghanistan by terrorists from the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network in 2012. Coleman was pregnant and the couple had two more children during their five years in captivity. The couple and their children were freed in a mission carried out by Pakistani forces based on intelligence from US authorities.

    Upon arriving at Toronto's Pearson International Airport in October, Boyle told reporters his captors authorized the killing of one of his children and raped his wife. He did not say whether the militants killed a child, only that his captors were responsible for "authorizing the murder" of his infant daughter. Sources close to the family said Boyle alluded to at least one forced abortion while in captivity.

    Details of their harrowing detention made headlines worldwide. The couple met Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in December and shared images from the visit from their Twitter account, the Boyle Family.

    After his return, Boyle told CNN's Paula Newton the family was doing as well as could be expected. He said he and his wife had gone to Afghanistan to help "those ordinary villagers that 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."

    Boyle didn't dispute reports they were also there as tourists, saying, "Nothing is black and white of why you go somewhere."

    He said his goal in Canada was to build "a secure sanctuary" for his children and help them "regain some portion of the childhood that they have lost."

    Boyle was previously married to the sister of Omar Khadr, a Canadian imprisoned for 10 years at the US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after fighting US troops in Afghanistan.

    A senior US official said that shortly after the family's October rescue, Boyle refused to leave Pakistan on an American military plane over concerns he could face arrest. Boyle said his family had been delayed due to a medical emergency surrounding one of his children. The family ended up boarding a flight from Islamabad to London, and then flew on to Canada.

    As of Tuesday, Boyle remained in police custody, Granger said. He is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday morning in Ottawa via video conference.

    Boyle's brother, Dan Boyle, declined to comment. His parents did not return calls Tuesday afternoon.

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