In a new report by David Thurton over at CBC, it’s revealed that a Ontario Court ruling Tuesday upheld the trial judge’s ruling that will allow Joshua Boyle’s lawyers to present the sexual history of his wife, Caitlan Coleman, as evidence in the trial that is said to resume in July. This is a momentous development for a trial that has been on hiatus as it removes a legal obstacle that had delayed the trial.

The charges round out to 19 in total, and include assault with a deadly weapon, sexual assault, and forcible confinement.

This evidence would be used to build a defence for Boyle that Coleman consented to sexual acts, thus nullifying any accusations of sexual assault. As is pointed out by Thurton, Section 276 of the Criminal Code prohibits any party from “adducing evidence of past sexual activity of a complainant in certain sexual proceedings for certain uses.”

However, Ontario court judge Peter Doody ruled that the defence could, in fact, present evidence that Boyle and Coleman engaged in “prior acts of consensual anal intercourse, consensual vaginal intercourse from the rear, sexual acts involving ropes and consensual biting as acts of sexual play.”

Ontario Superior Court Justice Ronald Laliberte wrote that Coleman’s lawyer had an opportunity to raise concerns over such a ruling at a special hearing held earlier this year. And that Coleman had actually brought up her history herself and at several moments seemed unsure about the assaults.

To provide more details, Boyle and Coleman were held captive by a Taliban-linked group in Afghanistan for five years. In 2012, they were kidnapped while on a backpacking trip.  They had three kids during this period and were finally rescued in 2017 by Pakistani forces and taken back to Canada.

Before, during, and after the hostage affair, Boyle was reportedly violent and controlled almost every aspect of Coleman’s life. Coleman claims that Boyle “struck her, tied her ankles and wrists with rope and raped her” during one incident. And there was another incident in which Boyle brutally assaulted Coleman after she refused to have sex with him. Indeed, there seems to have been a long brutal pattern of abuse at the hands of the man that Trudeau famously met and took photos with upon his rescue and return to Canada.

What do you think of this development? Is this the right decision? Join the conversation by commenting below!