Former Taliban Hostage Joshua Boyle Charged With Sexual Assault, Unlawful Confinement

Joshua Boyle, the Canadian man who was freed last October along with his family after being held captive for five years by a Taliban-linked group, has been charged with several crimes, including sexual assault.

Boyle is facing 15 charges in all, including sexual assault, unlawful confinement, uttering a death threat, and one count of causing someone to “take a noxious thing, namely Trazodone,” an antidepressant, reported CTV News.

Boyle made his first court appearance in Ottawa on New Year’s Day and appeared briefly again in court via videoconference from the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre on Wednesday morning, CTV News said. The case was then adjourned until Monday.

The identities of the alleged victims are unclear; a court order bars reporting on information that could identify them or witnesses in the case.

Boyle’s attorney said in a statement to NBC News that there was very little he could say and that “the matter is before the courts.”

“Mr. Boyle is presumed innocent. He’s never been in trouble before,” attorney Eric Granger said. “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,” he added.

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SOURCE: NBC News, Daniella Silva and Alan Cohen