Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard has been charged with multiple counts of sexual assault. (Toronto Police handout)

Hedley singer Jacob Hoggard charged with sexual assault

The charges related to incidents in 2016

Jacob Hoggard, the frontman of the Canadian pop-rock band Hedley, has been charged with multiple counts of sexual assault, according to Toronto police.

In a news release on Monday, police said the Surrey-born Hoggard faces two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm and one count of sexual interference. The 34-year-old allegedly sexually assaulted two females, at least one of them underage, on separate occasions over three days in 2016.

The Criminal Code of Canada defines sexual interference as when someone “for a sexual purpose, touches, directly or indirectly, with a part of the body or with an object, any part of the body of a person under the age of 16 years.”

READ MORE: Hedley facing sexual misconduct allegations

The charges come after accusations of sexual misconduct involving young fans emerged on Twitter in early 2018.

At the time, Hedley firmly denied the accusations. They acknowledged “there was a time, in the past” when they engaged in “a lifestyle that incorporated certain rock ‘n’ roll cliches.”

But sexual misconduct was “always a line that we would never cross,” a statement from the band read.

JUNO organizers pulled the band from the award show’s lineup in March, and the band announced it would be taking an “indefinite hiatus” after its Canadian tour ended at the end of that month.

Reaction to the allegations had been mixed, with their management team, tour openers and dozens of radio stations dropping them and some fans speaking out in defence of the victims.

One fan spoke publicly about covering up her “Invincible” tattoo, which was inspired by a song of the same name, after the initial allegations came out. Another young fan, a 15-year-old Ottawa girl, “put her concert tees into the bag of clothes for the Salvation Army” after learning about the allegations.

But some fans remained unfazed and loudly welcomed the performers to a show in Halifax earlier this year.

A 16-year-old who came to Halifax from Yarmouth, N.S., to attend her first concert, said she was relieved she could still see her favourite band perform after fearing the tour would be cancelled.

“Their fans are really supporting them and sticking together,” she said at the time.

Hoggard is scheduled to make his first court appearance in Toronto on July 26.

Investigators believe that there may be more victims and are asking anyone with information to call police at 416-808-7474, text TOR and your message to 274637 or contact Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-8477.

– With files from The Canadian Press


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Lacombe Council passes second reading of cannabis bylaw

Public hearing sees opposition to bylaw; third reading coming Sept. 10th

City looking to invest $750,000 into Lacombe Market Square

First reading of bylaw given to help bridge the gap between developers

Central Alberta Buccaneers come up short against Monarchs

Bucs’ lose star quarterback in heartbreaking affair

Town of Blackfalds issues fire ban

Due to the extreme dry, hot conditions, the Town of Blackfalds has issued a Fire Ban.

Ponoka man faces 95 theft-related charges

Police recover stolen license plates, mail, tools

WATCH: Ellis Bird Farm hosts annual Bug Jamboree

Visitors enjoyed getting up close and personal with butterflies, beetles and bees

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Ponoka Traffic Unit investigate scooter incident

A motorcyclist appears to have lost control of her Suzuki scooter on Highway 2 north of Ponoka

Pesticides linked to bee deaths will be phased out in Canada, sources say

Neonicotinoids, or neonics, are a class of pesticides used by farmers and hobby gardeners alike

Wildfire smoke blankets B.C. and Alberta, prompting air quality advisories

About 25 new wildfires were sparked between Monday morning and midday Tuesday

Stettler woman facing 67 fraud-related charges appears with co-accused

Crown likely proceeding with more serious charge of indictable offence

Wetaskiwin Co-op robbed of laser tool, propane torch

Wetaskiwin RCMP attempting to identify two individuals involved in numerous thefts

Judge OKs Weinstein suit, cites casting couch’s history

Actress Kadian Noble can sue disgraced Hollywood mogul for violating sex trafficking laws

Employers to raise salaries 2.6% on average next year: report

Firm points to factors such possibility of more trade protectionism, rising interest rates

Most Read