Testimony Begins At Trial Of Hedley Singer Jacob Hoggard
Jurors will begin hearing evidence Thursday at the trial of Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard in Toronto.
The Crown will present an overview of its case against the singer before calling the first witness to the stand.
Hoggard, 37, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm and one count of sexual interference.
He is accused of sexually assaulting the women on separate occasions in 2016. One of the alleged victims was under 16, the age of consent.
Neither of the two alleged victims can be identified due to a publication ban, which also applies to several witnesses.
Hoggard was arrested in 2018 and his trial was scheduled to begin in January 2021. It was postponed to April 2021 because he hired a new lawyer and then it was pushed to January 2022, and then to this week, due to COVID-19.
Jacob Hoggard: iHeartRadio Music News Coverage
Accusations of inappropriate behaviour with female fans began to surface online in early 2018, causing Hedley to be dumped from the JUNO Awards and the band’s songs to be scrapped from radio playlists.
Hoggard said in a statement: “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,” he said, “I am truly sorry.”
Hoggard tied the knot with Rebekah Asselstine on New Year’s Eve 2018. He was previously married from 2005 to 2009.
The B.C. native placed third on the second season of Canadian Idol before breaking out as lead singer of 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 in March 2018.