Joshua Boyle Trial: Caitlin Coleman Paints a Picture of a Disturbed Islamist Radical Obsessed with Rape & Violence
Former ‘Afghanistan hostage’ Caitlan Coleman says her husband, Joshua Boyle, made her live under a strict set of written rules in Ottawa that set out her duties as a mother and wife and punished her when she failed.
Coleman, 33, presented court with a copy of the handwritten rules issued by Boyle in December 2017, two months after they had returned to Canada from Afghanistan.
“He said following this list wouldn’t make me a good person, but it was the bare minimum he would expect of me, and I would be punished if I did not follow the list,” Coleman testified during her second day on the witness stand.
Among other things, the list required Coleman to ensure their three children ate breakfast, prayed and made their beds by 8 a.m.
She had to take cold showers, Coleman said, since Boyle believed they promoted stamina, self-control and hair growth.
She had to sleep nude, “plan interesting sex” twice a week, address others in the house as “sir and madame” and ensure that Boyle spent himself — ejaculated — 14 times a week.
“You must ask for chastising every time you think you have failed,” reads the handwritten note, which also has columns that set targets for Coleman’s weekly weight loss and Boyle’s ejaculations.
Coleman told court that Boyle spanked her as a form of “chastisement,” sometimes violently.
Once, she said, after failing to meet the required number of ejaculations, Boyle made her select something with which to be spanked. Coleman said she chose a broom — “I didn’t think it would be too bad,” she explained — and Boyle struck her hard seven or eight times across the buttocks with the broom handle as she stood with her hands against their bedroom wall.
“After that, he gave me a hug and told me to do better next time,” she said.
The incident was one in a series of violent encounters — slaps to the face, biting, spanking, a Christmas Day choking incident — that Coleman described in court Friday.
Coleman said she didn’t tell anyone about the violence, even though she became increasingly convinced that Boyle would kill her.
“I could see that being the eventual end,” she told court.
In what she said was the most difficult incident to recount, Coleman said her husband hit her in the face and knocked her to the floor after an argument about anal sex that ended with her threatening to take the children and leave.
Coleman testified that on the night of Nov. 27, 2017, Boyle became angry when she told him she didn’t want to have anal sex, something she found uncomfortable.
“It was something he expressed to me he wanted and that he had a right to have with me,” she told court.
Boyle has pleaded not guilty to 19 charges, including assault, sexual assault, confinement and criminal harassment.
Coleman is the primary complainant in the case.
Coleman testified she became upset and frightened when Boyle continued to insist on anal sex: “I was feeling I can’t do this anymore. I suggested to Josh I was going to take the children and leave. I just can’t do this anymore.”
She might have raised her voice, Coleman said, and was definitely crying.
“He got extremely angry,” she said. “He hit me. My face.”
She walked toward the cloak closet to leave the apartment, Coleman said, when Boyle grabbed her and knocked her to the floor. He told her that she couldn’t leave, she said.
Coleman said she sat on the floor for some time before Boyle came back and told her to go to the bedroom and take off her clothes.
“I wasn’t resisting him,” Coleman said. “I was very scared of him, so I was just doing what he was telling me to do.”
Boyle kept ropes and other BDSM paraphernalia in a bag beside the bed. He bound Coleman’s wrists behind her back and tied her ankles together — she wasn’t sure if she was blindfolded — but, after intercourse, he refused to remove the restraints.
“I think I might have asked him, ‘Why?’ He explained that he couldn’t trust me, that I would leave if he untied me. I started crying and I think I was pleading with him to untie me.”
Boyle, she said, agreed to untie her if she remained quiet for 30 minutes. After that time passed, Coleman again asked to be untied, but Boyle refused.
“I said, ‘You promised.’ His only response to me was, ‘I lied.’”
She waited for him to go to sleep before she extricated herself and went to bed.
“Looking back, I should have tried to leave,” she told court, “but I just didn’t. I just lay down.”
A month later, she testified, in mid-December, Boyle again struck her when she struggled against his attempts to penetrate her anally.
“I believe I was saying, ‘No, no.’ I was trying to convey, ‘No, you know I can’t do this…’
“He wasn’t able to enter me, so, after a period of trying, he stopped and hit me on the face and said, ‘F— you.’”