Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard sentenced to five years behind bars


TORONTO — Canadian musician Jacob Hoggard has been sentenced to five years behind bars after being found guilty earlier this year of sexually assaulting an Ottawa woman.

The Crown had sought a sentence of six to seven years – above the normal range for a sexual assault by someone with no criminal record. The prosecution argued Hoggard was a risk to the public.

Meanwhile, the defence had argued Hoggard should remain behind bars for three to four years. They pointed to a psychiatric report that said he was a low risk to reoffend and had a good chance of rehabilitation.

The 2016 sexual assault took place in a Toronto hotel room and the Ottawa woman told Hoggard’s sentencing hearing that what happened will haunt her for the rest of her life.

Hoggard had also been charged with sexual assault causing bodily harm in the case of a teenage fan, as well as sexual interference involving that complainant but was found not guilty on those offences.

The 38-year-old Hedley frontman had pleaded not guilty to all charges.

A jury deliberated for six days and twice found itself deadlocked on “some counts” before finding Hoggard guilty in June of sexual assault causing bodily harm in the Ottawa woman’s case.

The woman, who was in her early 20s at the time, said Hoggard choked her so hard she thought she was going to die. She testified the sexual assault lasted for hours.

Hoggard said at trial that he had consensual, “passtionate” sex with both complainants.

He denied choking the Ottawa woman, but said the other elements described, such as spitting and slapping were among his sexual preferences – and could have happened.

At a sentencing hearing earlier this month, the Ottawa woman told court the incident left her paralyzed with fear and despair for months.

The woman, who cannot be named due to a standard publication ban, said the sexual assault robbed her of her confidence, her dreams and altered her life.

“I was never the same after that day,” she said. “A part of me died that day that I will never get back.”



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