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Afghanistan hostage ‘used rope and broom in assault’

The former Afghanistan hostage who was freed along with his wife and three children in October used ropes and a broomstick in a series of physical and sexual assaults, a court heard Friday. 

Joshua Boyle was charged with 19 counts of assault, sexual assault, threatening to cause death and administering a noxious substance, according to CBC.CA.

The 34-year-old was arrested January 1 and initially charged with 15 counts of assault against two victims between October 14, the day he returned to Canada from imprisonment and December 30. 

And when the new charges were read Friday, it was also revealed Boyle will be ordered to undergo a 60-day psychological assessment in Brockville, Ontario, before his next court appearance. 

Joshua Boyle was charged with 19 counts of assault, sexual assault, threatening to cause death and administering a noxious substance, according to CBC.CA. He is pictured on October 13 after being released from captivity in Afghanistan and returned to Canada

And when the new charges were read Friday, it was also revealed Boyle will be ordered to undergo a 60-day psychological assessment in Brockville, Ontario, before his next court appearance. Boyle is pictured with his wife, Caitlan, his three children  and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau 

And when the new charges were read Friday, it was also revealed Boyle will be ordered to undergo a 60-day psychological assessment in Brockville, Ontario, before his next court appearance. Boyle is pictured with his wife, Caitlan, his three children  and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau 

Boyle’s attorney Lawrence Greenspon said Friday that the former hostage was found fit to stand trial, but that a doctor thought he would benefit from a more ‘comprehensive’ assessment.’ 

He is expected to be transferred to the Brockville Mental Health Centre’s secure forensic treatment unit in the coming days, according to CBC. 

His next court appearance is scheduled for March 26 via video link.  

Boyle was initially arrested on January 1, and 15 charges of assault and sexual assault were filed against him. 

But the initial charges were withdrawn on Friday when Boyle appeared in court via video from a detention center in Ottowa. They were replaced with 19 new charges related to just one victim. 

Those charges include one count of sexual assault with ropes, nine counts of assault, and one count of assault with a broomstick. 

He was also charged with uttering a threat to cause death, three counts of unlawful confinement, administering a noxious substance, public mischief and criminal harassment. 

Further details of the alleged assaults are not yet clear.   

Boyle's attorney Lawrence Greenspon said Friday that the former hostage was found fit to stand trial, but that a doctor thought he would benefit from a more 'comprehensive' assessment.' He is pictured with his father in October, after being rescued

Boyle’s attorney Lawrence Greenspon said Friday that the former hostage was found fit to stand trial, but that a doctor thought he would benefit from a more ‘comprehensive’ assessment.’ He is pictured with his father in October, after being rescued

Boyle, his American wife Caitlan and their three children were freed in October in Pakistan – five years after the couple was abducted by a Taliban-linked group during a backpacking trip in Afghanistan.

The children – two boys aged two and four and a baby girl – were born in captivity.

The purported acts allegedly occurred after Boyle returned to Canada between October 14 and December 30.

In a statement to the Toronto Star after his arrest, 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 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 we can.’

Boyle and his wife were abducted in 2012 by a Taliban-linked militant group while on a backpacking trip in Afghanistan

Boyle and his wife were abducted in 2012 by a Taliban-linked militant group while on a backpacking trip in Afghanistan

His two children, two boys aged two and four and a baby girl, were born in captivity

He is pictured with one of his sons

His three children, two boys aged two and four and a baby girl, were born in captivity. Boyle is pictured with one of his sons

When the family returned to Canada in October, they briefly stayed with Boyle’s parents in Smith’s Falls, Ontario, but have since moved to an apartment in Ottowa.

Boyle told the Associated Press in October that his wife had been hospitalized in Ottawa, but did not specify why she was taken there. He took a picture of her in her hospital bed at the time.

During their captivity, the couple claimed that their guards forced Caitlan to undergo an abortion and even raped her.

The group has denied the accusation of sexual assault and the forced abortion, saying instead that Caitlan suffered a miscarriage.

Pakistani troops rescued the family in an operation October 11 aimed at their captors, the Taliban-linked Haqqani group.

The Pakistanis caught the Haqqani fighters at some point after they had moved with their captives across the border from Afghanistan.

Caitlan said that they were being moved in a car when they came under fire and were rescued by the Pakistani forces.

Boyle said he was hit by shrapnel in the incident and that the last thing he heard his captors say was ‘kill the hostages’.

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said the operation was based on a tip from US intelligence.

Boyle was once briefly married to Zaynab Khadr, the older sister of former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr and the daughter of a senior al-Qaida financier who had contacts with Osama bin Laden.   

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