Canadian singer Jacob Hoggard convicted of sexual assault
Jacob Hoggard, the frontman of Canadian band Hedley, was convicted of sexual assault causing bodily harm to an Ottawa woman, but acquitted of the same charge involving a teenage fan.
Hoggard, 37, was also found not guilty of sexual interference, a charge alleging sexual touching of a person under 16, in an incident involving the same teenage fan when she was 15.
The singer kissed his wife in the courtroom after the jury’s verdict was read.
Prosecutors alleged Hoggard groped the teenager after a Hedley show in Toronto in April 2016, then raped her in a Toronto-area hotel room later that year after she turned 16.
They alleged he raped the Ottawa woman at a Toronto hotel in November 2016.
Both complainants testified that they were bleeding and bruising.
They each said that among other things, Hoggard slapped them, spat in their mouths and called them derogatory names, and that he restricted their breathing at one point.
During the roughly month-long trial, Hoggard testified that his recollection of the encounters was unclear, but he said he had consensual and “passionate” sex with the plaintiffs and that he did not had not sexually touched the teenager until she was 16.
“I found out when she was 16,” Hoggard testified, adding that he made sure “to be responsible and not break the law.”
He denied suffocating or restricting the complainants’ breathing, but said some of the other things they described were part of his sexual preference and therefore could have happened.
The jury began deliberating on Tuesday and twice indicated it was deadlocked on “some” counts.
Each time, the jurors were told to keep trying.
They then replayed much of the testimony from the two plaintiffs and Hoggard and also asked several questions about legal issues, including the definition of consent.
Hoggard’s band Hedley rose to fame after finishing third on the reality show Canadian Idol in 2004.