Jurors begin deliberations in Jacob Hoggard’s sexual assault trial

TORONTO — Jurors began deliberations Tuesday in the sexual assault trial of Canadian musician Jacob Hoggard.

TORONTO — Jurors began deliberations Tuesday in the sexual assault trial of Canadian musician Jacob Hoggard.

Earlier in the day, Ontario Superior Court Judge Gillian Roberts spent several hours outlining the legal principles that the jury must apply when considering the evidence.

Hoggard, 37, pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm and one of sexual interference, a charge related to sexual touching of a person under 16.

Prosecutors allege the Hedley frontman violently and repeatedly raped an Ottawa teenage fan and young woman in Toronto-area hotel rooms in separate incidents in the fall of 2016.

They also allege he groped the teenager backstage after a Hedley show in Toronto in April 2016, when she was still 15.

The Crown has highlighted several similarities in the accounts given by the complainants, two women who have never met or spoken to each other.

Among those similarities are allegations that Hoggard spat on them, slapped them and called them derogatory names such as “bitch” and “bitch” during the encounter. Prosecutors say jurors should take the similarities as indicating a pattern of behavior.

Defense attorneys say the groping never happened and the sex was consensual. They allege the complainants lied about being raped to cover up their embarrassment after being rejected by a ‘rock star’.

The defense also claims that any similarities between the plaintiffs’ accounts can be attributed to Hoggard’s lifestyle at the time.

In his testimony last week, Hoggard said he did not have detailed recollections of the encounters with the plaintiffs, but was certain they consented based on their verbal and nonverbal cues.

He told the court he had no recollection of spitting, slapping or swearing at the plaintiffs, but that those things could have happened since they were part of his sexual preferences.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on May 31, 2022.

The Canadian Press