Warning: This story accommodates disturbing particulars
TORONTO – Jacob Hoggard, the frontman for the Canadian band Hedley, has been discovered responsible of sexual assault inflicting bodily hurt towards an Ottawa lady however acquitted of the identical cost towards a teenage fan.
Hoggard, 37, has additionally been discovered not responsible of sexual interference, a cost that pertains to the sexual touching of somebody below 16, in an incident involving the identical fan when she was 15.
The singer, who wore a darkish swimsuit, hugged his spouse within the courtroom after the decision was learn. She wiped away tears after he returned to his seat.
Ontario Superior Court docket Justice Gillian Roberts rejected the Crown’s request to revoke Hoggard’s bail till his sentencing however mentioned stricter circumstances had been warranted, noting the musician would seemingly face a jail sentence.
Throughout trial, prosecutors alleged Hoggard groped the teenager after a Hedley present in Toronto in April 2016, then violently raped her in a Toronto-area lodge room later that yr after she turned 16. They alleged he then violently raped the Ottawa lady in a Toronto lodge in November 2016.
Each complainants testified they had been left bleeding and bruised. They every mentioned Hoggard slapped them, spit of their mouths and referred to as them derogatory names corresponding to “slut” and “whore” in the course of the encounters, and that he restricted their respiration at one level.
The youthful complainant mentioned Hoggard pushed her face into the pillows till she thought she would go out, whereas the Ottawa lady mentioned he choked her so arduous she feared she would die. The second complainant additionally mentioned that on one event, Hoggard dragged her by the legs into the lavatory and requested her to urinate on him, then mentioned he would urinate on her, each of which she refused.
The Crown urged jurors to think about the similarities between the occasions recalled by two girls who’ve by no means met or spoken to one another, arguing they replicate a sample of conduct.
Hoggard, in the meantime, testified throughout trial that he had consensual, “passionate” intercourse with the complainants, and that he did not contact the teenager sexually till after she turned 16.
“I knew when she turned 16,” Hoggard testified, including he made positive “to be accountable and never break the regulation. ”
He denied choking or proscribing the complainants’ respiration however mentioned among the different issues they described – together with slapping, spitting, name-calling and urination – had been amongst his sexual preferences and subsequently may have occurred. He described the kind of slapping he enjoys as extra of a mild tapping.
He testified that his reminiscence of the encounters wasn’t clear, however he knew the complainants consented primarily based on their verbal and non-verbal cues, and since it was his observe to concentrate to his sexual companions.
Defence attorneys alleged the ladies lied about being raped after Hoggard rejected them as a result of they had been embarrassed and upset that he had used them for intercourse.
The jury, which seemed to be composed of 10 males and two girls, started deliberating final Tuesday and twice indicated it was deadlocked on “some” counts. Every time, jurors had been requested to maintain making an attempt. They went on to replay the majority of the testimony given by the 2 complainants and Hoggard, and requested a number of questions on authorized points, many associated to consent.
Since Hoggard acknowledged having intercourse with each complainants, the case turned on the difficulty of consent, with jurors left to find out whether or not the encounters had been violent rapes, because the complainants alleged, or consensual one-night stands, because the singer maintained.
Jurors had been advised that in the event that they discovered the complainants did not consent, they need to have “little problem” concluding Hoggard knew or willfully ignored the very fact they weren’t consenting.
Over the course of the roughly month-long trial, jurors heard dramatically completely different portrayals of Hoggard, a musician whose band, Hedley, rose to fame after he got here in third on the truth present Canadian Idol in 2004.
Hoggard’s attorneys described him as an insecure, flawed man who sought validation from girls by way of frequent one-night stands whereas touring, even whereas in a relationship. He had amassed a roster of girls in varied cities and would get in contact with them when he was on the town, at occasions arranging transportation to deliver them to his lodge, they mentioned.
The singer could have been cavalier to girls and thoughtless of their emotions, however he’s not a “sadistic serial rapist,” defence lawyer Megan Savard mentioned in her closing arguments to the jury.
She mentioned Hoggard did not have an in depth reminiscence of the encounters on the coronary heart of the trial as a result of they had been merely two out of numerous consensual trysts he’d had through the years.
The truth that he did not attempt to forestall the complainants from leaving the lodge, or stress them to maintain the encounters a secret, is way extra in keeping with consensual intercourse than a violent rape, Savard argued.
The Crown, for its half, painted Hoggard as an “entitled sexual opportunist” who did not assume he needed to take no for a solution when it got here to satisfying his “uncommon” sexual needs.
Prosecutor Jill Witkin argued in her remaining submissions that the singer could not specify what sounds or gestures the complainants made to sign consent, notably for acts corresponding to slapping or spitting.
Neither of the complainants wished what occurred in these lodge rooms, however Hoggard did and he acted on it, she alleged.
The Crown additionally argued Hoggard had a historical past of mendacity to get out of inauspicious conditions, as he had with the complainants and the romantic companions he’d cheated on.
This report by The Canadian Press was first printed June 5, 2022.
Are you a survivor of sexual assault in search of assist? The Canadian Ladies’s Basis has an inventory of Nationwide and provincial assets for these in want of assist that may be discovered right here.