Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard, who faces sex-related charges, will now stand trial in April
Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard is seen in this image provided by Toronto Police Service.
TORONTO -- The trial of Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard, who is facing three sex-related charges, has been pushed back three months.
Earlier this week, Crown Attorney Jill Witkin confirmed the trial will now begin on April 12 “at the request of Hoggard who has changed counsel.”
Hoggard’s Toronto trial was expected to begin on Monday.
In the summer of 2018, Hoggard was arrested and charged after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced, suggesting inappropriate encounters with young fans.
The 35-year-old, whose career started on the reality show Canadian Idol, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm and one count of sexual interference. He has previously denied engaging in any non-consensual sexual behaviour, but said, in the past, he has acted in a way that objectified women.
Police said the charges are related to three separate incidents involving a woman and a girl under the age of 16 that allegedly occurred in the Toronto area in 2016.
Hoggard has opted to be tried by a jury rather than a judge alone.
Last month, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice suspended jury trials in most parts of the province, including Toronto, until February.
Hedley has been on an indefinite hiatus since March 2018. The band, which is based in Vancouver, was dropped by its management teams and banned from multiple radio stations in the wake of the allegations against Hoggard.