Joshua Boyle, former captive of terrorist group, charged with sexual assault months after being freed

Joshua Boyle, former captive of terrorist group, charged with sexual assault months after being freed

Joshua Boyle, former captive of terrorist group, charged with sexual assault months after being freed

Updated 3 January 2018, 13:30 AEDT

Canadian man Joshua Boyle, who along with his wife was kidnapped and held captive in the Middle East for five years, is charged with a number of offences including sexual assault and forcible confinement only months after returning home.

A Canadian man abducted and held captive by a terrorist group in the Middle East for five years has been charged with sexual assault only months after being freed and returning home.

Joshua Boyle and his American wife Caitlan Coleman were kidnapped by the Taliban-linked Haqqani network in Afghanistan in 2012 while on a backpacking trip. Their children were born in captivity.

The couple and their children arrived back in Canada after being rescued in Pakistan in October last year.

At the time he said one of his children had been murdered and his spouse was raped after their capture.

Canadian police have laid 15 charges against Mr Boyle, 34, including eight counts of assault, two counts of sexual assault, two counts of forcible confinement and one count of uttering death threats.

A hearing on the case is scheduled for Wednesday (local time) in Ottawa, but Mr Boyle's lawyer Eric Granger said in an email that his client would not attend in person.

"Mr Boyle is presumed innocent," he said.

"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."

A publication ban bars reporting any information that could identify the alleged victims or witnesses in the case.

Reuters/AP