TORONTO — Canadian singer Jacob Hoggard, the previous frontman for multi-platinum pop-rock band Hedley, on Sunday (June 5) was discovered responsible of sexual assault inflicting bodily hurt in opposition to one lady, however not responsible of the identical cost involving a 16-year-old fan.
Hoggard was additionally discovered not responsible of sexual interference, which refers to sexual touching of any a part of the physique on an individual underneath the age of 16.
The separate assaults occurred in 2016 in his resort room. One lady is from Ottawa and the then-teenager from the Larger Toronto Space. Hoggard, who took the stand in his personal protection, pled not responsible to all fees.
Throughout the trial, which started Might 5, Canadian media within the court docket reported the 2 complainants described being violently raped. Hoggard stated it was consensual intercourse.
The decision comes six days after the revelation of a brand new rape cost in opposition to Hoggard that was stored out of the media since March to keep away from tainting the present jury.
The British Columbia-born Hoggard, 37, will face a brand new trial for one cost of sexual assault inflicting bodily hurt. The rape is alleged to have occurred in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, in 2016 when the band was on tour. His lawyer Megan Savard, who didn’t reply to Billboard’s request for remark, advised CBC he would plead not responsible.
Allegations in opposition to Hoggard started to floor on social media in early 2018. The rambunctious singer rose to fame in 2004 on Canadian Idol (which has since been cancelled), touchdown within the high three earlier than signing with Common Music Canada for his band Hedley, together with a brand new lineup. Capitol Information signed them within the U.S. in 2006 however later dropped them.
In Canada, their success continued with chart-topping singles, platinum certifications and headlining excursions. Hoggard hosted the Juno Awards in 2015. Their seventh and remaining album, Cageless, was launched in 2017.
However a number of ladies and ladies advised their tales on-line of alleged sexual abuse by the singer. In response, Hoggard issued a public assertion on Feb. 18, 2018, which learn partly: “I should be fully clear: I’ve by no means engaged in non-consensual sexual conduct in my life. Ever. Nonetheless, over the past 13 years, I’ve behaved in a approach that objectified ladies.” He added, “It’s time for me to vary. I’ve determined to step away from my profession indefinitely. I’ll honour my commitments to this tour…”
Hedley’s company, administration and report label dropped the band and radio pulled their music from their playlists.
Toronto prosecutors charged Hoggard in July of 2018. He married his second spouse on Dec. 31 later that yr. They’ve one little one.
The trial was initially scheduled to start in November of 2018, however was pushed again a number of instances, the final two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It lastly began on Might 2.
Billboard additionally reached out to Crown prosecutor Jill Witkin, who declined to remark.
The Canadian music business has seen different allegations of sexual assault or misconduct floor on-line, however solely two have resulted in prison fees — Hoggard’s and media character Jian Ghomeshi.
In 2014, after being charged with sexual assault, Ghomeshi fell from grace because the high-profile host of the CBC Radio discuss present Q which additionally aired within the U.S. on greater than 170 Public Radio International stations. The previous singer with a cappella group Moxy Früvous additionally managed electronic-pop singer Lights.
In 2016, an Ontario court docket decide acquitted him on 4 counts of sexual assault and one rely of choking. A sixth cost was withdrawn. He disappeared from public view earlier than launching a short-lived podcast. In April of 2020, he began a brand new podcast for the Iranian diaspora.
Since then, there have been different circumstances which have led to swift motion. In October 2019, long-time promoter Ewan Exall was fired from Embrace Presents after a girl alleged in an internet put up that he raped, beat and bit her when she was 16, and had stored a folder of pictures of underage ladies.
In July of 2020, multi-platinum pop-punk band Easy Plan introduced authentic member David Desrosiers was leaving after ladies got here ahead on Instagram and Reddit about his predatory and aggressive behaviour. “I’ve determined to withdraw from the band and search skilled assist to coach myself and act appropriately sooner or later,” the bassist wrote.
That very same month, cellist Danny Kenyon left various bluegrass band The Lifeless South after a number of ladies got here ahead on Instagram with allegations of sexual misconduct. He rejoined the band in June of 2021.
Tales about sexual assault allegations may be traumatizing for survivors of sexual assault. In case you or anybody you recognize wants help, you possibly can attain out to the Rape, Abuse & Incest Nationwide Community (RAINN). The group offers free, confidential help to sexual assault victims. Name RAINN’s Nationwide Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE) or go to the anti-sexual violence group’s website for extra info.