Joshua Boyle Wiki: Facts about the Former Afghanistan Hostage Facing Criminal Charges

Former Taliban hostage Joshua Boyle is currently facing 19 criminal charges related to alleged incidents after his return to Canada. Our Joshua Boyle wiki will detail his charges, as well as important background information you should know about his family and his captivity in Afghanistan.

Joshua Boyle, 34, is facing 19 charges just months after being rescued from a five-year hostage situation in Afghanistan. Boyle has another court date coming up this month, as he and his lawyer fight to prove his innocence. Keep reading our Joshua Boyle wiki for the details on what happened to this man and his family and why he’s in jail after being freed from years of abuse in captivity.

Family & Hostage Situation

In 2012, Canadian citizen Boyle and his American wife, Caitlan Coleman, went on a backpacking trip through Central and South Asia. When they were in Afghanistan, they were taken hostage by a Taliban-linked group.

In an interview with The National, Boyle said he originally went there as a pilgrim to help people… “to try to fix things,” he said.

At first, his kidnappers only wanted money, assuming the United States would pay the ransom quickly, as his wife was pregnant.

Boyle said the kidnappers interrogated him, trying to find out who he worked for. Once they had the information they needed, they said he and his wife would be freed and sent home. When Boyle’s response was not as they expected, they used his family as political leverage.

Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle

Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle; Photo:

Boyle and his wife were separated several times, drugged, beaten, and moved among at least three prisons.

Remarkably, during their five-year captivity, they had three children. They had two sons, Najæshi Jonah and Dhakwœn Noah, and one daughter, Ma’idah Grace Makepeace.

Boyle later told CBC News that members of the group who kept him and his family captive, the Haqqani network, had murdered their infant daughter. He also says they sexually abused his wife during those five years.

The Boyle family was relocated between 23 different areas within 50 km of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

During this time, the whole family faced horrible conditions and treatment, including drugging and separation from each other, among other physical and psychological abuse.


On October 11, 2017, Pakistani forces freed the family.

Once in Canada, the family settled into Boyle’s parents’ home in Smiths Falls, Ontario. But court records show his most recent residence was in an Ottawa apartment, where he lived for about a month before his arrest.

His father, Patrick Boyle, is a tax judge, and his mother’s name is Linda. He has four siblings.

On December 19, 2017, the family had the honor of meeting with the country’s leader, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. At that time, it looked to the world like the Boyle family was returning to a more peaceful existence.

Boyle’s Controversial Previous Relationship

Aside from his highly publicized hostage experience, Boyle was also known for his brief marriage to Omar Khadr’s older sister, Zaynab Khadr, between 2009 and 2010. She is the eldest daughter of Ahmed Said Khadr, who was accused of being linked to the terrorist group Al-Qaeda as an associate and financier.

Zaynab strongly defended her father, and brother Omar, who was captured when he was 15 years old while fighting with the Taliban in Afghanistan and charged with killing an American soldier. Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen, was detained in Guantanamo Bay for 10 years. In 2017, he won an $8.0-million lawsuit against the Canadian government for an infringement of his rights related to his imprisonment.

How did Boyle become romantically involved with the daughter of a man with alleged terrorist ties?

According to his friend, Alex Edwards, Boyle introduced himself to the Khadr family when they were dealing with Omar’s imprisonment. He offered his support to them, acting as their spokesperson in 2008, when Zaynab went on a hunger strike on Parliament Hill in protest of her brother’s detention.

In 2009, when Boyle was 25 and Zaynab was 29, the couple married. Their relationship did not last long, ending with their divorce in 2010.

Soon after, Boyle met Coleman online. He married her in 2011. A year later, they decided to go on that fateful backpacking trip, even though Coleman was pregnant at the time.

Joshua Boyle: Charges and Trial

Less than three months after being rescued from captivity, on January 1, 2018, Boyle was arrested for crimes allegedly committed once he returned to Canada with his family.

He is facing 15 charges relating to two alleged, unnamed victims.

These charges are: eight counts of assault; two counts of sexual assault; two counts of unlawful confinement; uttering a death threat; public misbehavior; and administering a noxious substance.

The same month Boyle was arrested, the 15 charges were withdrawn by the Crown, and new set of 19 charges were announced:

  • One count of sexual assault while threatening to use a weapon (ropes)
  • One count of sexual assault with a weapon (ropes)
  • One count of uttering a death threat
  • Nine counts of assault
  • One count of assault with a weapon (broomstick)
  • Three counts of unlawful confinement
  • One count of administering a noxious substance (antidepressant trazodone)
  • One count of public mischief (manipulating an officer into believing someone was suicidal and missing, which led to an investigation, to divert suspicion away from Boyle)
  • One count of criminal harassment

Boyle was recently sent back to the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre after residing in Canada at the Brockville Mental Health Centre for over 60 days to undergo a psychiatric assessment.

The assessment was originally scheduled to last for 60 days, but the defense team asked for an extension of two additional weeks on behalf of Boyle’s physician.

On April 9, 2018, the Crown told the court it would be changing the name of the victim for one of the charges, and that there are two alleged victims, whose identities are protected.

Officers alleged the incidents occurred in Ottawa between October 14 and December 30, 2017. None of the 19 charges have yet been proven in court.

Boyle is set to appear again in court on April 27 via video, and a private judicial pre-trial is set for April 17.