Joshua Boyle makes court appearance after completion of mental health assessment
Freed hostage Joshua Boyle made a brief appearance in an Ottawa courtroom on Monday, following the completion of his psychiatric assessment.
Boyle, 34, faces 19 criminal charges, including sexual assault, assault and unlawful confinement. A publication ban is in place preventing the release of any information that could identify alleged victims or witnesses.
Boyle was abducted and held for five years by a Taliban-linked group after he and his pregnant American wife Caitlan Coleman went backpacking in Afghanistan. The couple and the three children they had while in captivity were freed by Pakistani forces in October and they returned to Ontario.
Boyle was then arrested on Jan. 1.
At Monday’s court appearance, Boyle looked thinner than before. His lawyer, Lawrence Greenspon, told reporters outside court that his client has likely lost weight while in custody.
Greenspon said the purpose of his client’s psychiatric assessment was not to determine Boyle’s fitness to stand trial, but to facilitate “assessment and treatment.”
He said he hasn’t yet reviewed the “lengthy” psychiatric report and added that it’s “too early” to address Boyle’s fitness to stand trial.
Greenspon said Boyle received psychiatric treatment at a facility in Brockville, Ont., before he was returned to the detention centre. He said he hopes his client will continue to receive medication while in detention, but would not say what Boyle is being treated for.
A doctor assessing Boyle had previously requested an extension to the 60-day period for a mental health assessment.
The criminal proceedings against Boyle were on hold while the mental health assessment was underway. Greenspon said Monday that his client has not waived his right to a bail hearing and that hearing may still be requested at some point.
Pre-trial motions in Boyle’s case will be discussed on April 17 and Boyle’s next full court appearance is scheduled for April 27.
With files from CTV’s Kevin Gallagher