Hedley leader Jacob Hoggard sentenced to 5 years in prison

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Warning: this story contains disturbing details

Canadian musician Jacob Hoggard has been sentenced to five years in prison after being found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman in a Toronto hotel room six years ago.

Ontario Superior Court Judge Gillian Roberts delivered the sentence Thursday morning, saying she accepts the victim’s account “in its entirety.”

The Crown in the case had asked for a sentence of six to seven years, while the defense requested that Hoggard only be kept behind bars for three to four years.

The defense argued that a psychiatric report indicated Hoggard was at low risk of reoffending and had a good chance of rehabilitation, while the Crown suggested he was a danger to the public and needed to be kept in custody.

Arriving at her sentencing, Roberts said she had to consider the trauma inflicted on the victim, as well as the continuing impacts the 2016 sexual assault has had on her life.

“She’s a different person than she was when she went to meet Mr. Hoggard,” Roberts noted.

The judge noted that Hoggard had no criminal record and provided 52 letters from people attesting to his “good character.”

However, he said that the sentence “must be proportional to the seriousness of the offending conduct.”

A sketch of Canadian musician Jacob Hoggard in handcuffs after being sentenced to five years in prison on October 20, 2022 (John Mantha). “It should be enough to reflect the inherent harmfulness of a manipulative and particularly degrading rape,” he said.

Roberts also ordered that Hoggard be banned from owning weapons for 10 years and placed on the sex offender registry for the next 20 years.

Hoggard could still leave regardless of his prison sentence. He has since filed a Notice of Appeal and is expected to appear before the Ontario Court of Appeal later today, where he will ask to be released while the appeal is heard.

This is breaking news. An earlier version of this story appears below.

Ontario Superior Court Judge Gillian Roberts will deliver her sentence Thursday morning in the sexual assault case involving Canadian musician Jacob Hoggard.

The Hedley leader could be sentenced to up to 14 years in prison, however the Crown has indicated they plan to ask for six to seven years in prison.

Although, Hoggard could still walk away regardless of his prison sentence. He has since filed a Notice of Appeal, and after his sentencing, he is expected to appear before the Ontario Court of Appeal, where he will ask to be released pending appeal.

The third day of Hoggard’s sentencing hearing is scheduled to begin today at 9 am at the University Avenue Courthouse.

The court initially met on October 6 where the victim, an Ottawa woman whose identity cannot be released due to a publication ban, made a powerful impact statement during which she shared that her life has been “shattered beyond measure.” reconnaissance” for the assault. The victim is suing Hoggard for $2.8 million.

The hearing resumed for a second day on October 14 via Zoom. That day, Hoggard was given a chance to say something before he was sentenced, but he refused.

Canadian musician Jacob Hoggard passes through security at the Toronto courthouse to be sentenced on Thursday, October 20, 2022. He was convicted of sexually assaulting an Ottawa woman earlier this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin

In 2018, the singer was charged with two counts of sexual assault with bodily harm and one count of sexual interference after allegedly violently and repeatedly raping two complainants, one of whom was a minor, in separate incidents in the fall. 2016. Prosecutors also alleged that Hoggard also groped the girl after a Hedley concert in April 2016 when she was 15 years old.

He pleaded not guilty to all three charges.

On June 5, Hoggard was found guilty of one count of sexual assault with bodily harm in the case involving the adult woman, but was acquitted of the same count in relation to his alleged relationship with a teenage fan.

At the time, he was also found not guilty on the sexual interference charge, which also pertained to interactions he allegedly had with the underage girl.

Prosecutors had requested that the court revoke Hoggard’s bail until he was sentenced.

Jacob Hoggard leaves court after being found guilty of a sexual assault charge, in Toronto, on Sunday, June 5, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Instead, the day after the verdict, the judge chose to impose a series of strict bail conditions on him, as “the prospect of a long prison sentence significantly increases the incentive to flee”. Roberts also cited the need to maintain public confidence in the administration of justice in reaching that decision.

Hoggard’s wife, Rebekah Asselstine, who is one of two sureties who monitored compliance with his bail conditions, pledged $200,000 towards his bail.

Last March, Hoggard, who was born and raised in Lower Mainland BC, was charged with sexual assault with bodily harm in connection with another unrelated incident that allegedly occurred on June 25, 2016, in Kirkland Lake, Ontario. He denied the allegation and said through his attorney that he intends to plead not guilty.

A preliminary trial was held on October 17 in a court in northeastern Ontario. Another appearance was scheduled for October 27.

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