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Former Afghan hostage found not guilty in wife assault case

Former Afghan hostage found not guilty in wife assault case

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — A Canadian judge has dismissed charges on against former Afghanistan hostage Joshua Boyle, who had been accused of assaulting his American wife Caitlan Coleman.

Ontario Court Judge Peter Doody said Thursday the prosecution failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Boyle, 36, committed multiple crimes against Coleman, of Stewartstown, Pennsylvania.

The charges included assault, sexual assault and unlawful confinement. The incidents were alleged to have taken place in Ottawa after Boyle and Coleman returned to Canada following five years as prisoners of Taliban-linked extremists.

Boyle and his wife were taken hostage in 2012 by a Taliban-linked group while on a backpacking trip in Afghanistan. The couple had three children during their five years in captivity. The family was rescued in 2017 by Pakistani forces and returned to Canada.

Boyle was arrested in Ottawa in December that year. He had pleaded not guilty to all charges

The trial dealt with the respective credibility of Boyle and Coleman, each of whom spent days testifying about their fraught relationship, their harrowing time as hostages and the events that led up to Boyle's arrest in late 2017.

In dismissing assault and sexual assault charges against Boyle, Doody said he didn't believe Boyle, but also had concerns about Coleman's credibility.