A trial date for the sexual assault case against Jacob Hoggard has been set, according to the Canadian Press. The frontman for Canadian rock band Hedley will stand trial in a Toronto court on three sex-related charges on Jan. 4, 2021. The trial is expected to last four weeks, and Hoggard will enter his plea on the first day of the trial.
In 2018, Hoggard, now 35, was charged with two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm and one count of sexual interference with a minor. According to the Criminal Code of Canada, sexual interference is defined as sexual touching, either directly or indirectly, of a person under the age of 16. This includes touching with parts of the body or with an object. Police began investigating allegations against the singer when a number of girls and women came forward (many on Twitter, using the #OutHedley2k18 hashtag) with allegations of sexual harassment and assault.
At his two-day preliminary hearing in July 2019, Hoggard chose to have his case heard by a judge and jury rather than just a judge, which could be a strategic move.
Hoggard, who is from Surrey, B.C., released a statement on Twitter in 2018 denying ever engaging in non-consensual sexual behaviour but admitted to behaving “in a way that objectified women.” Since then, Hoggard married actress Rebekah Asselstine. As for Hedley? The two-time Juno Award-winning band has been on a hiatus since 2018.
The next hearing in the case will take place Jan. 14, according to the Canadian Press.