Joshua Boyle’s defence team pressed his estranged wife in court Wednesday, questioning whether she had any part in writing a list of rules that she said Boyle made for her follow.
Boyle, 35, has pleaded not guilty in provincial court in Ottawa to 19 charges, including assault with a weapon, sexual assault and forcible confinement.
He was charged a few months after the couple returned to Canada in October 2017 with the three children they had while being held captive for five years in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Caitlin Coleman, 33, is the alleged victim in 17 of the charges Boyle faces.
Her cross-examination continued with defence lawyer Lawrence Greenspon questioning Coleman about her involvement with a list of rules brought up earlier in the trial.
Coleman testified previously that Boyle wrote the list in late December 2017. She said some of the rules her husband required her to follow included:
- That she sleep nude.
- That she must plan interesting sex minimum twice a week.
- That she log her calorie intake.
- That she take only cold showers to build stamina and self control, and to help her hair grow faster.
- That she fill out a separate daily checklist for heavy exercise, to burn 750 calories a day.
- That she ask for chastising (spanking) every time she thought she had failed.
Greenspon was able to confirm Wednesday that Coleman did indeed add one rule to the list, the backyard daily portion, which Coleman explained earlier meant taking the children to play outside.
Greenspon then suggested to Coleman that she also had a list of rules she wanted Boyle to follow, but Coleman said no such list existed, nor did Boyle write a list of her rules for himself, or that a joint list was created.
“I’m going to suggest to you that you never really used this list,” Greenspon said.
Coleman responded by saying she tried to adhere to the list but that by Dec. 27, 2017 she had not followed every rule.
Last week, she testified that she was sometimes punished.
Boyle let her choose what she would be spanked with, and Coleman said she chose a broom. He exposed her buttocks and hit her multiple times with the handle.
“I remember that it was very painful,” she testified.
Police statement clarified
Greenspon continued by reminding Coleman about a statement she gave to police on the day after Boyle was arrested.
In her statement she said, “so we didn’t really use it,” when referring to the list, but Coleman clarified in court that she was trying to explain to the detective why a section of the weight loss chart was blank and that the list was new, something Boyle had recently written.
Greenspon also pointed out that during the interview, Coleman said “we” when referring to who wrote the list.
Again, Coleman clarified saying that she didn’t use the right pronoun, and that Boyle was the person who wrote the list.
“You didn’t slip and say you wrote it, because that was actually the truth?” Greenspon asked.
“No,” Coleman responded.
Coleman’s memory tested
Earlier in the day, Greenspon questioned Coleman about an alleged assault that took place on Dec. 10, 2017 where she testified that Boyle hit her multiple times in the face.
Coleman said she couldn’t recall how many times Boyle hit her, or what happened after the alleged assault.
“With the various uncertainty that we’ve discussed this morning, Miss. Coleman I’m going to suggest to you that this incident that you describe in the dining room did not occur. What do you say to that?” Greenspon asked.
“I say that you’re incorrect, and it did occur,” Coleman replied.
Coleman also responded to questions about how many times she considered leaving Boyle during the time that she was in captivity and during the time after they were released.
Coleman said that during captivity she would voice her desire to leave Boyle no more than once a month.
When they returned to Ottawa, she only told him two or three times that she wanted to leave, but told the court she thought about leaving more often than that.
Her cross-examination was to continue Wednesday afternoon.
This story originally appeared on CBC