Hedley singer Jacob Hoggard faces new sexual assault charge – Kelowna Capital News
Canadian musician Jacob Hoggard, who is currently awaiting a verdict in his sexual assault trial, has been charged with another alleged sexual assault.
Hoggard, the frontman of the Hedley band, was charged in March with sexual assault causing bodily harm in an incident that allegedly took place on June 25, 2016 in Kirkland Lake, Ont.
The case was briefly in court in nearby Haileybury, Ont., last Thursday – just days after Hoggard spoke in Toronto, where he is accused of sexually assaulting two women, including the one was 16 at the time.
The new charge – which is due in court on August 4 – could not be reported at that time due to the risk of tainting the jury hearing the Toronto case. But jurors there have now begun their deliberations, meaning the new charge can be made public.
Hoggard’s attorney, Megan Savard, on Tuesday said her client was innocent and denies the new allegation. She said he would plead not guilty.
Hedley performed at the Kirkland Lake Homecoming Festival on June 24, 2016.
The incidents at the heart of the Toronto trial, meanwhile, took place in the Toronto area in September and November of that year.
Hoggard was charged in 2018 with two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm and one of sexual interference, a charge that refers to sexual touching of a person under the age of 16. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Prosecutors allege he violently and repeatedly raped each complainant in separate incidents, leaving them bleeding, bruising and in pain.
They also allege he groped the young complainant after a concert in Toronto in April 2016, when she was still 15 years old.
It’s a known fact that both complainants were from out of town, and Hoggard arranged to bring them to his hotel room while they were in Toronto for shows.
Both complainants testified that they cried and said no throughout the meetings. The two women, who said they had never met or spoken to each other, also testified that Hoggard spat in their mouths, slapped them and called them a “bitch” and a “bitch”.
The young complainant said Hoggard had pushed her face into the pillows, which made it difficult for her to breathe. The second complainant, meanwhile, said he choked her hard enough to make her fear for her life. She also said that at one point he dragged her into the bathroom by her legs and asked her to urinate on him, which she refused.
The defense argues that Hoggard had consensual sex with the plaintiffs, suggesting the women later made up the allegations.
In his testimony, Hoggard denied raping the complainants or touching the young complainant in a sexual manner before she was 16.
He acknowledged that the spitting, slapping, name calling and asking to urinate may have occurred because these were part of his sexual preferences. He denied restricting the complainants’ breathing, saying it was not something he enjoyed.
The singer also admitted that he had no detailed recollection of what happened during the encounters, but said he had no doubt that the complainants consented because he was used to paying attention to verbal and non-verbal cues from sexual partners.
—Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press
Law and JusticePop Music