Jacob Hoggard, Frontman Of Band Hedley, Found Guilty Of Sexual Assault
After a long-delayed trial due to Covid-19, the Canadian singer Jacob Hoggard has been found guilty of one charge of sexual assault while being acquitted of other charges stemming from other complaints.
He was convicted of a charge stemming from a 2016 assault of an Ottawa woman and found not guilty of the same charge against a teenage fan and acquitted of another charge relating to a previous incident of sexual touching of the same teenage fan when she was just 15.
Both complainants, in this case, reported similar stories of their times with Hoggard and said among other things that he slapped them, restricted their breathing and called them derogatory names. They also both said they were left bleeding and bruised after the alleged assaults took place.
All incidents occurred in 2016, with prosecutors accusing Hoggard first of groping the teenage fan when she was 15 in the Spring of that year, then raping her in a hotel room later that year.
In relation to these claims, Hoggard said, “I knew she was 16,” and said that he had been careful “to be responsible and not break the law,” claiming their sexual encounters were consensual but said they were “passionate.”
He also testified that he had unclear memories of both nights, but did admit that aspects both accusers described of him were part of his sexual preference and could have occurred. He denied restricting their breathing.
Hoggard will now face new charges that were kept private until the jury finished deliberating on this case. It is also for sexual assault causing bodily harm and reportedly occurred in 2016 while Hedley was touring.
Online accusations against Hoggard began cropping up in 2018, and he was hit with his first charges in July 2018. In a statement addressing the accusations, Hoggard said he had never “engaged in non-consensual behavior,” but admitted “over the last 13 years, I have behaved in a way that objectified women.
The singer, who first rose to fame as a third-place contestant on Canadian Idol, was dropped by his record label and management teams, and also said in the statement, “It’s time for me to change. I’ve decided to step away from my career indefinitely.”
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