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Canadian singer Jacob Hoggard convicted of sexual assault

Hoggard, the frontman for the Canadian band Hedley, was acquitted of the same charge involving a teenage fan.
Jacob Hoggard of Hedley
Jacob Hoggard of Hedley performs at the 2016 iHeartRADIO MuchMusic Video Awards in Toronto.George Pimentel / WireImage file
/ Source: The Associated Press

TORONTO — Jacob Hoggard, the frontman for the Canadian band Hedley, was convicted Sunday 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 teen 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 teen 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.

Frontman for the band Hedley, Jacob Hoggard
TORONTO, ON- MAY 5 - Frontman for the band Hedley, Jacob Hoggard, leaves court with his lawyers after the first day of testimony in his trial in Toronto on May 5, 2022.Steve Russell / Toronto Star via Getty Images

Both complainants testified they were left bleeding and bruised. They each said that among other things, Hoggard slapped them, spit in their mouths and called them derogatory names, and that he restricted their breathing at one point.

During the roughly monthlong trial, Hoggard testified his memory of the encounters wasn’t clear, but he said that he had consensual, “passionate” sex with the complainants and that he didn’t touch the teen 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 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 in third on the reality show “Canadian Idol” in 2004.