Warning: Contains graphic content
An Ottawa woman has proposed rape allegations against Hedley Jacob Hoggard, as “a form of revenge” for hurting her feelings and injuring her during consensual sex, his lawyer suggested Wednesday during cross-examination.
The complainant, now in her late twenties, confirmed that Hoggard repeatedly raped her over the course of three to four hours in a downtown hotel room on November 22, 2016, while she resisted and told him to stop.
Hoggard has pleaded her innocence of sexual assault causing bodily harm to the complainant, who was in her early 20s when she met Hoggard on Tinder in November 2016.
Hoggard has also pleaded not guilty to sexual touching of a person under 16 and sexual assault causing bodily harm, charges relating to allegations that he groped a 15-year-old cheerleader after a concert at the Air Canada Center in April 2016 and raped the girl, who has turned 16 since then, in September 2016 at a hotel near Pearson Airport.
Hoggard admitted that he had a “sexual encounter” with both complainants, and his attorney noted that the allegation that he grabbed the ass and attempted to kiss the 15-year-old fan’s neck never happened. The identities of both complainants are subject to a publication ban available to sexual assault complainants.
The Ottawa woman testified, in the days following the sexual assault, that she told Hoggard that he had raped her and demanded an apology, but he denied this in letters and in a 30-second phone call.
On Wednesday, Hoggard’s defense attorney, Megan Savard, played a recording of a 15-minute phone call between Hoggard and the complainant, which she suggested took place two days after the alleged sexual assault. The complainant said she does not remember the call, saying that she “withheld what happened so that I could survive.”
In the audio recording, the complainant’s voice is tense and emotional. I have repeatedly suggested that Hoggard appear written or trained, as if he consulted a lawyer.
The call—which was played to the complainant first during the lunch break before being played in court—begins with Hoggard saying she looks upset, and the complainant said she’s really upset.
As the call began in court, the complainant was crying and Supreme Court Justice Jillian Roberts asked her twice if she wanted to stop, saying she didn’t have to suffer.
“It hurts,” the complainant said, but chose to continue because it would be annoying another day. She said it was hard to hear Hoggard’s voice.
On the call, Hoggard said she was upset that she “was out of left field.”
“I thought we had a really good time together, and I hope you’ll get along. Like I mean, it organically seemed like a cold time. I really thought you got that feeling,” Hoggard said.
“Not exactly,” she said.
“What happened and you felt like this?” to reply.
She replied, “Every time I try to tell you no.” “It got me to the point where it was really painful.”
“I really don’t know what to tell you. It really shocked me, just because I know we talked a lot about the way we were sexual before we got together,” Hoggard said, “and all those texts that we have.” And it seemed like we were entering, you know, a very tolerable situation.”
On the call, the complainant noted that Hoggard was just trying to save his “asshole” and that he appeared to have had this type of conversation before.
She told Hoggard it was “so embarrassing” to go to a doctor because she needed stitches in her vagina and said she would call a lawyer. She testified on Wednesday that she was trying to scare him into admitting what he had done, that she never planned or called a lawyer and didn’t need a pole, though she was in pain.
“I don’t feel there is a moment when that could be, you know, the outcome,” Hoggard said on the call when I told him about the stitches. “I mean between you and me, it was very clear that I paid close attention to how you’re feeling and didn’t ignore how you’re feeling.”
The complainant replied, “I think I have a different opinion than yours.”
Savard suggested that the woman did not mention the long call or Hoggard’s concern in her testimony and instead said he blocked her after a short call because she thought the rapist would respond, and that she thought it would make the jury more likely to respond. Believe her claims.
The complainant replied, “He (Hoggard) is the only rapist I know.”
In a text exchange provided by Savard and shown in court, Hoggard texted the complainant after the alleged sexual assault and said, “I had a great time with you on Monday and I’m really sorry you feel that way.”
She replied: You bruised me and made me bleed for days.
Savard said the complainant claimed that she deleted all of her messages with Hoggard and did not take pictures of her bruises because, at the time, she had no intention of telling anyone what had happened.
“But it’s not true,” Savard said, “I wanted to tell people as a form of revenge.”
“No, I wanted him to tell the truth,” the complainant said.
The complainant testified that in 2016 she called Hoggard’s ex-girlfriend, now wife, Rebecca Asselstein, and told her that Hoggard had raped her and she wanted to know if she had had a similar experience. She said Asselstine told her that Hoggard “did this to other people” and that she needed to go to the police.
As the complainant put it, Asselstein, who was sitting on the public balcony in the court, shook her head and leaned forward with her mouth open in disbelief.
Savard later showed the complainant’s screenshots of messages between her and Asselstine, and noted that Asselstine had never said she knew Hoggard had physically abused any woman and only indicated cheating.
Savard noted that the complainant was upset that Hoggard injured her during consensual sex, that he was reckless, and that she hurt feelings as a result of “that rock star basically brought her down.”
“No,” said the complainant firmly.
Savard said the complainant said during the call that she didn’t care if he had another girl in his hotel room. The complainant agreed.
“You’re supposed to say you don’t care too much if he has a girl in the same position you were in a couple of days ago?” Savard asked.
“It’s not fair,” whispered the complainant.
Savard asked the complainant if she thought a written apology from Hoggard would give her “power” over him and force him to talk to her. The complainant denied this. She also denied that she was hoping to get the money.
Savard questioned the complainant about why she had gone to a second hotel room with Hoggard after he kissed her and pushed her against a wall, and she resisted, making rude comments. The complainant said she now realizes that it would be sexual assault but didn’t at the time, and still believes they would have had consensual sex in the second hotel room.
The complainant gave an anonymous interview to CBC in 2018 after which he went to the police.
I asked Savard if she had told a CBC reporter that she was celebrating Hoggard’s fall. “I don’t remember saying that,” the complainant said. “But I certainly was.”
The trial continues on Friday.
If you or someone you know is experiencing sexual violence or abuse, you can call the Abused Women Helpline at 416-863-0511 or 1-866-863-0511 or text #SAFE (#7233) to Bell or Rogers Or Fido or Telus mobile phone.