Joshua Boyle trial one of the first to test new standing for sexual assault complainants


A little more than a month out from a verdict in the sexual assault trial of Joshua Boyle, CBC's The Fifth Estate takes a look back at some of the pivotal details of the closely watched case and the ways in which it tested new rules for how courts treat sexual assault complainants.

Boyle, 36, has pleaded not guilty to 19 charges, including multiple counts of sexual assault, assault and unlawful confinement and will learn his fate Dec. 19 when Ontario Court Judge Peter Doody hands down a verdict.

Seventeen of the offences were allegedly committed against Boyle's estranged wife, Caitlan Coleman, 34, between October and December 2017 after the couple returned to Canada from Afghanistan, where they were held hostage for five years by the Taliban and the Haqqani network.

"Life for me didn't change much after we were released," Coleman said in an interview with the CBC in May that is part of a new Fifth Estate examination of the case. (Watch the full interview below.)

Once they settled in Ottawa with their three children, Coleman said, Boyle took on the role of a prison guard. 

"[He] controlled every element of my life," she said.

Boyle disputed that portrayal of their marriage, testifying at trial that it was Coleman who was physically and emotionally abusive.