Hedley singer Jacob Hoggard faces sex assault charges

Published On July 24, 2018 | By damianali93 | Arts, Life, News

Hedley lead singer Jacob Hoggard was arrested on July 23 and charged with three sexual assault offences by Toronto Police. (Toronto Police/Twitter)

Damian Ali

Toronto Police filed three sex-related offences against the lead singer of one of Canada’s biggest rock bands.

Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard, 34, of Surrey, B.C., was arrested Monday in Toronto and charged with one count of sexual interference and two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm.

The arrest is part on an ongoing investigation and stems from three alleged incidents occurring in 2016 which involved two women on separate occasions.

Hoggard is due in court this Thursday at Old City Hall at 2 p.m.

In a separate incident, a woman came forward in February publicly accusing him of sexual misconduct.

Hoggard denied any non-consensual sexual interactions with her in two March tweets.

Katie Summers, the morning host on 90.3 Radio in Calgary who raised allegations of sexual misconduct against him, told Humber News she hopes the victims get the justice they deserve.

“It’s a bit bittersweet for me, only because I was a Hedley fan once too, before my interaction with (the suspect) seven years ago,” Summers said.

Hoggard, seen here at the band’s Juno Fan Choice show on Feb. 12 in Red Deer, Alta., is scheduled to appear in court at Old City Hall on July 26. (Hedley/Twitter)

Summers says the arrest should be seen as inspiration by other victims that speaking out and coming forward is absolutely okay, regardless of what others might think.

“I’ve said it from the beginning in all of this, you are the only one who can decide when it’s time to tell your story but the fact that he was investigated and now charged shows people are finally listening,” she said.

People in positions of power should no longer be regarded as immune to the consequences of committing sexual assault, Summers said.

“Me telling my story on the air and having my employers, who are big shot radio men, support me 100 per cent set the precedent that female radio employees don’t have to stay quiet about what happens to them, no matter how powerful the person is that assaulted or abused them,” she said.

“I really hope that pours over into other industries and workplaces as well and I hope employers are really willing to listen to those who want to come forward with their stories,” Summers said.

The Criminal Code of Canada defines sexual interference as involving the touching of a person under the age of 16 with a part of the body or with an object, for a sexual purpose, directly or indirectly.

Toronto Police said in a statement they are concerned there may be other victims and are urging anyone with information to come forward.

Following the March allegations the band announced it was taking an indefinite hiatus.

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