Warning: This article contains graphic content and may affect people who have experienced sexual violence or know someone who has been affected by it.
Jacob Hoggard, former rock band leader Hedley, faces a new rape allegation related to a June 2016 interview in Kirkland Lake, Ont.
Hoggard was accused in March of sexually assaulting a woman who was 19 at the time.
Court documents say the alleged assault occurred on or about June 25, 2016, when the band topped Homecoming Week celebrations in the northern Ontario town, located about 300 kilometers northeast of Sudbury.
In an exclusive interview with CBC News, the complainant alleged that Hoggard imposed himself on her six years ago at the Comfort Inn in Kirkland Lake, where the band was staying.
“He knew what he was doing was wrong and he did it anyway,” said the woman, now 25, who lives in British Columbia. Her identity is protected by a court-ordered embargo.
After filing a formal police complaint last February, the woman said she was “relieved” to have taken the step to hold Hoggard accountable.
In an email, Hoggard’s attorney, Megan Savard, said her client denies the alleged 2016 assault.
“Mr. Hoggard is innocent,” wrote Savard, who declined CBC’s request for an interview. He added, “He will plead not guilty. He has no further comment because this case is before the courts.”
Hoggard is scheduled to appear in court next in the Kirkland Lake case on August 4.
A verdict is expected in a separate sexual assault case
In June 2016, the BC woman, a Hedley fan, was for a moment hoping to discuss music and play guitar with Hoggard. Instead, she claims that he raped and insulted her.
“I didn’t consent to intercourse. I kept telling him ‘No, no,'” the woman said, remembering the alleged assault. stop, “again and again”.
I felt helpless.
The new charge surfaced as Hoggard, 37, awaits sentencing at a trial in Toronto where he faces two more charges of sexual assault causing bodily harm.
One related to a woman from Ottawa and the other to a girl from the Greater Toronto Area who was 16 years old at the time. The alleged assaults occurred in the fall of 2016. He also faces one count of sexual interference in relation to the teenager. He has pleaded not guilty to all three charges.
Hoggard took his stand in his own defense at the Toronto trial, which began on May 2.
Since he was first accused of sexual assault four years ago, Hoggard’s music career has fallen apart and Headley is no longer together. He said he now works as a carpenter and is married with a young son.
Hoggard told the court he had acted rudely in the past during several one-night stands, but maintained he was not guilty of a crime. A verdict in the Toronto trial is expected soon.
The police did not mention Hoggard’s name
According to the Ontario Provincial Police, on March 2, 2022, Hoggard, accompanied by his attorney, turned himself in at the South Porcupine OPP detachment in Timmins, Ontario, about 140 kilometers west of Lake Kirkland.
He was arrested, charged and then released with a promise to appear in court.
Despite being named in court documents, Hoggard was not identified by the OPP in a March press release when they said they had charged a 37-year-old Vancouver man in connection with a 2016 sexual assault.
The complainant provided CBC with emails asking the police to release Hoggard’s name. Instead, she said, the investigator told her that they had not named the singer in order to protect her identity. The woman no longer lives in Ontario and her name is not mentioned in court documents.
The county police say the decision not to name Hoggard was made after consulting with senior management.
Bill Dixon, OPP’s acting director of media relations, said in an email.
“The characteristics of the accused or his employment is not the determining factor.”
Hoggard’s lawyer declined to answer CBC questions about the arrest.
Savard said: “We do not file lawsuits in the media and this case is no exception. What we have to say will be said in a court of law.”
‘I should have reported it a long time ago’
The BC woman said she had previously considered reporting what happened to the police in 2018, when allegations of inappropriate behavior towards young fans first surfaced on social media during the band’s Cageless album tour.
In February 2018, before any further allegations of sexual assault were published, the BC woman also spoke to a CBC reporter, but ultimately decided not to share her story.
“I should have reported him a long time ago, but I was worried that no one would believe me because he was a celebrity,” said the woman, now feeling more confident in coming forward.
Since the alleged assault, I graduated from college and found comfort in a new relationship.
The woman said, “I have a supportive partner now, which is very helpful. It makes me feel stronger.” But she said, she still had nightmares about what had happened.
CBC cannot independently verify the woman’s version of events, but it has confirmed that Hedley’s band members stayed at the Comfort Inn when they visited Lake Kirkland in 2016.
CBC reporters also saw a selfie of a 19-year-old woman with Hoggard taken at an after-party that night.
From the concert to the alleged assault
On June 24, 2016, the woman attended Hedley’s party at the Kirkland Lake community center with a family member. After the concert, they hopped in a van carrying fans to the Comfort Inn to celebrate with the band. The woman’s relative left before she left.
The woman, while lounging in a campfire pit in the woods behind the hotel, said she drank several Coors Lite beers with the band. She got drunk and said so when Hoggard took her to his hotel room.
Once inside, the complainant saw several guitars and hoped that she and Hoggard could “jam” together. She said he accused her of being “gossip, talkative,” pulled out her phone, and then assaulted her.
He acted like he owned me, like he could do whatever he wanted.– The complainant, who claims that Jacob Hoggard raped her when she was 19 years old.
Despite her attempts to deter his advances, she said, he undressed and took a nude photo of her without her consent. He then undressed, revealing snake tattoos and what looked like a leopard on his body.
“He was acting like he owned me, like he could do whatever he wanted,” she said.
The woman said Hoggard wanted to know how old she was. She said she told him she was 19 and pushed the singer away from her as he tried to kiss her. She said she resisted his attempt to have anal penetration, but was raped vaginally.
The woman said, “I was fighting him the whole time. I felt stuck while he was on top of me. He was so strong.”
She told CBC she yelled for him to stop.
Claims of suffocation and slaps
During the alleged assault, the woman said, Hoggard alternated between calling her a “dirty little pig” and a “good girl.”
The woman alleged that he strangled her during sex and slapped her, leaving a red imprint on her thigh that “lasted a week”.
After the alleged assault, the complainant said she felt so nauseous that she went into the bathroom to vomit.
The woman said that when she went up to the bathroom to take a shower, Hoggard entered the bathroom and asked if he could pee on her. She said she refused, but he was urinating anyway on her stomach.
“It made me feel disgusted and sad,” said the woman.
“I was just a normal girl who was going to go meet a celebrity and talk for a few minutes and then it would happen.”
To get around the problem, the complainant destroyed her diary
The complainant said that Hoggard did not use a condom during the sexual assault.
When it was time to go out, the woman hoped that Hoggard would pay for a taxi. Instead, she said, he asked her to stay in the room for 30 minutes after he left and leave through the backyard door.
She said some of the band and crew may have seen her walking home. Previous attempts by CBC to track these people to verify her account were unsuccessful.
In an attempt to cope with the shock, the woman said she burned a diary where she wrote about her feelings in the days after the party.
A few days after the alleged assault, the woman said, she went to the Santee Center in Kirkland Lake to take an STD test, which she said was negative. CBC has not been able to verify whether there is a record of her visiting the center.
Besides the police, the woman said she only discussed what happened with her current partner, a mental health counselor, and the CBC.
The woman’s partner confirmed to CBC that she told him last summer what had allegedly happened and that he encouraged her to go to the police.
She said she deleted the videos she had taken from the concert and after-party, but the memories kept popping up, sometimes manifesting in episodes of interrupted sleep or being woken up in the middle of the night.
She said she had flashbacks to being paralyzed by the look in Hoggard’s eyes during the alleged assault.
“They scare me. His blue eyes. His flashbacks make me feel stuck. I feel deteriorated – like I’m just a thing.”
Support is available to anyone who has been sexually assaulted. You can reach crisis lines and local support services through this Canadian government website or the End Violence Canada database. If you are in immediate danger or fear for your safety or the safety of others around you, please call 911.