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Former hostage faces a number of charges including sexual assault

A Canadian man who was held hostage in Afghanistan is facing numerous criminal charges. The 34-year-old who, along with his wife, was held against his will for five years, has been charged with a number of offenses, including sexual assault, uttering threats and unlawful confinement. Joshua Boyle and his American wife, who now live in Ontario, were set free recently after being abducted while backpacking. Their three kids were born while the couple was held captive.

The family was freed this past October, and the offenses allegedly took place between Oct. 14 and Dec. 30, 2017. All told, Boyle is charged with two counts of sexual assault, one count each of uttering threats, administering a noxious thing and public mischief. He is also facing two counts of unlawful confinement. There are apparently two victims, but their names are under a publication ban.

Boyle had never been charged with criminal activity prior to these counts. He said that, while in captivity,  Taliban members murdered his infant daughter and raped his wife. The family was moved 23 times during five years. They spent time holed up in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

With any criminal charges, the accused is always presumed innocent before the court. It is incumbent upon the Crown to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in all cases, including a sexual assault charge. An Ontario lawyer will assess whether evidence collected against the accused was done to the letter of the law, addressing any inconsistencies in court. Boyle's legal defense team will focus on providing an effective defense and will pursue the most positive outcome possible, whether that means a lesser sentence or charges being dismissed entirely.

Source: cbc.ca, "Joshua Boyle, former Canadian hostage, faces 15 criminal charges", Joe Lofaro, Jan. 2, 2018

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