Canada: trial of Taliban hostage accused of abusing wife resumes after delay

The trial of Joshua Boyle, the former hostage of a Taliban-linked group in Afghanistan , has resumed after the court ruled it would hear testimony about the couple’s sexual history.

Boyle was on New Year’s Eve 2017, just two months after he and Caitlan Coleman were released from five years of Taliban captivity.

Boyle and Coleman had three children while in captivity.

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Boyle’s trial . He faces 19 charges, including sexual assault, assault, unlawful confinement and administering a noxious substance.

But a delay in proceedings was triggered by questions of whether the court should hear testimony about Coleman’s sexual history.

In April, Ontario court judge Peter Doody ruled that he would allow defence lawyers to introduce evidence alleging Boyle and Coleman had previously engaged in acts of bondage and discipline (BSDM).

Coleman’s attorney appealed the decision on the basis of Canada’s “rape shield” law that prevents past sexual history from being presented as a way to establish consent or patterns of sexual behaviour.

In June, an Ontario superior court judge allowed Boyle’s defence to present the evidence.

The trial was further delayed this month after the judge asked the crown and defence to consider whether a recent supreme court of ruling on sexual history would impact Boyle’s case.

The supreme court recently ordered new trials in two cases where the rape shield laws were not upheld in court.

Coleman’s cross-examination continued on Wednesday. Coleman, who is an American citizen, is testifying via video link from the United States.

According to the Canadian Press, defence attorney Lawrence Greenspon asked Coleman whether she had engaged in consensual sex or BDSM activities with Boyle after their return to Canada.

She said they had, but that the encounters were not her idea. She called the BDSM acts “revolting”.

Source : theguardian[dot]com