Canadian citizen Joshua Boyle and his American wife and children were rescued from Pakistan last year nearly five years after being abducted and held hostage by the Taliban in Afghanistan. The couple bore their three children while in captivity. Upon their rescue, Boyle strangely refused to leave Pakistan until he was guaranteed he would not have to land in the United States.
Now comes news that Boyle has been charged with at least a dozen counts of sexual battery and assault.
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.
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.
Boyle told The Associated Press in October that his wife had been hospitalized in Ottawa, but did not specify why she was taken to the hospital.
“My wife has been through hell, and she has to be my first priority right now,” Boyle wrote then.
Boyle also told AP that he and his wife decided to have children even while held captive because they always planned to have a big family, thinking: “Hey, let’s make the best of this and at least go home with a larger start on our dream family.”
“We’re sitting as hostages with a lot of time on our hands,” Boyle added. “We always wanted as many as possible, and we didn’t want to waste time. Cait’s in her 30s, the clock is ticking.”
Nothing adds up and Canadian authorities are offering minimal information at this point.