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Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard charged with sexual interference, sex assault

Last Updated Jul 24, 2018 at 8:01 am PDT

(Police photo)
Summary

Hoggard, 34, facing three sex charges

Police say cases date back to 2016, could be more victims

TORONTO (NEWS 1130) – Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard has been charged with sexual interference and sexual assault

Toronto Police say 34-year-old Hoggard of the Abbotsford band is in custody and facing one charge of sexual interference and two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm.

Investigators say the charges date back to three incidents in 2016 on which the suspect met with two women and “committed a Sexual Assault on each of them”.

It comes just months after a massive movement to boycott the band caught on with the hashtag  as stories of misconduct swirled online as a part of the Me Too movement.

Following that, Hedley released a statement and went on hiatus. They were removed as the headliners at this year’s JUNO Awards.

Investigators think there could be more victims. Hoggard is set to make an appearance in court in Toronto on Thursday.

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Music director at Vancouver’s JACK FM Corbet Rutzer says this doesn’t fair well for the band, which had been denying the original allegations against Hoggard that surfaced about six months ago.

“It doesn’t look very good for the future or Hedley, I wouldn’t say,” says Rutzer.

“It’s not a good look for the Canadian music industry, it’s not the kind of story you want to see…but they were a high-profile band and it does shine a negative light, especially because they had a younger fan base.”

He says the band had a big presence in the Fraser Valley and were like a “hometown hero” in the Vancouver area because of the local connection.

As for if the band can recover from the charges filed against it’s leader, we’ll have to wait and see.

“There’s a lot of bands that have shown it’s possible to do, to continue on with different singers…but he was quite a distinctive part of the band too, so their sound would be different, their songwriting would be different,” he says.

“It’s kind of a coin flip.”

-With files from Sonia Aslam