Canadian singer Jacob Hoggard convicted of sexual assault

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Jacob Hoggard, Sexual Assault
Jacob Hoggard via hayleyheartsyou/Instagram

Jacob Hoggard, the frontman for the Canadian band Hedley, has been 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 the sexual touching of someone under 16, in an incident involving the same teenage fan when she was 15.

The singer hugged 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, and then raped her in a Toronto-area hotel room later that year after she turned 16.

They alleged he raped the Ottawa woman in a Toronto hotel in November 2016.

Both complainants testified they were left bleeding and bruised.

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 his memory of the encounters was not clear, but he said that he had consensual, “passionate” sex with the complainants and that he did not touch the teenager sexually until after she turned 16.

“I knew when she turned 16,” Hoggard testified, adding he made sure “to be responsible and not break the law”.

He denied choking or restricting the complainants’ breathing, but said some of the other things they described were among his sexual preferences and therefore could have happened.

The jury began deliberating on Tuesday and twice indicated it was deadlocked on “some” counts.

Each time, jurors were asked to keep trying.

They went on to replay the bulk of the testimony given by the two complainants and Hoggard and also asked several questions on legal issues, including the definition of consent.

Hoggard’s band, Hedley, rose to fame after he came third on the reality show Canadian Idol in 2004.

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