Jacob Hoggard sexual assault trial: Complainant to continue testimony of Hedley singer


TORONTO — A young woman alleged to have been sexually assaulted by Canadian musician Jacob Hoggard when she was a teenager is expected to continue her testimony at his trial today.

The woman, who first took the stand Thursday afternoon, is one of two complainants in the case. Neither can be identified under a publication ban.

Prosecutors allege Hoggard, the frontman for the rock band Hedley, violently raped the two women after bringing them to Toronto-area hotels in separate incidents in 2016. Both complainants had travelled from out of town to see him.

An agreed statement of facts says Hoggard had a “sexual encounter” with each of the complainants on the days they came to his hotel.

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Crown alleges Jacob Hoggard violently raped teen girl, woman in 2016 incidents

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The singer has pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm and one of sexual interference, a charge that refers to the sexual touching of someone under the age of 16.

In her testimony Thursday, the complainant described meeting Hoggard in a hotel parking lot after an out-of-town concert she attended at age 12, and starting to communicate directly with him after a meet-and-greet event when she was 15.

She told the court their conversations grew more sexual over time, particularly after they started using Snapchat, an app where messages and images are only briefly visible. Eventually the pair exchanged nude photos, and Hoggard sent her a video of himself masturbating, she testified.

The woman said Hoggard also sent her romantic messages, saying he loved her and saw a future with her. “It felt almost like a relationship,” she told the court Thursday.

A few weeks after they began texting, he arranged for her and two friends to come see Hedley in Toronto and gave them backstage passes, she said.

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Once backstage, she said Hoggard touched her buttocks repeatedly, which made her uncomfortable. She said she tried to move away or grab his wrist in the hopes that he would understand she wanted him to stop.

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Prosecutors allege the two later made plans to meet in Toronto in September, after the complainant had turned 16. They allege Hoggard had her brought to his hotel in Mississauga, Ont., and repeatedly raped her over several hours.

In its opening statement Thursday, the Crown said the second complainant met Hoggard in November after crossing paths with him on Tinder while Hedley was in Ottawa.

Later that month, they made plans to meet in Toronto, and the Crown alleges Hoggard raped her “over and over” during an hours-long encounter in his downtown hotel.

Both complainants were left bleeding, bruised and sore, prosecutors allege.

© 2022 The Canadian Press





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