Hedley's Jacob Hoggard In Court On Sex Charges

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Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard pleaded not guilty to sexual assault charges on the first day of his preliminary hearing in a Toronto courtroom.

Hoggard, 35, arrived at Old City Hall courthouse with his wife of six months, Rebekah Asselstine.

The singer was charged in July 2018 with two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm and one count of sexual interference.

One of the two alleged victims was under 16, the age of consent in Canada. Now 19, she gave emotional testimony at Thursday’s hearing. The second alleged victim is scheduled to testify Friday.

There is a publication ban on the proceedings.

Ontario Justice Mara Greene will decide if there is a sufficient cause to proceed to a trial, which would get underway next year. Hoggard has opted to have his case heard by a judge and jury (rather than by only a judge).

Hoggard did not speak to reporters on the way in or out of the courthouse.

In a statement in February 2018, before any criminal charges were filed, Hoggard said: “I have never engaged in non-consensual sexual behaviour in my life. Ever.” But, he admitted that he hasn’t treated women well. “For this,” Hoggard said, “I am truly sorry.”

Hoggard was born and raised in B.C. and placed third on the second season of Canadian Idol before breaking out as frontman for Hedley. The band released seven studio albums between 2005 and 2017 that spawned hits like "On My Own," "Cha-Ching," "Kiss You Inside Out" and "Perfect."

Hedley has been on "an indefinite hiatus" since the end of its Cageless tour.