jacob hoggard hedley

Hedley singer Jacob Hoggard sentenced to 5 years in prison for sexual assault

Canadian musician and convicted sex offender Jacob Hoggard (of Hedley fame) has been sentenced to five years in prison for what a Toronto judge described on Thursday as the "manipulative and particularly degrading" rape of an Ottawa woman in 2016.

"I accept her evidence in its entirety,” said Ontario Superior Court Justice Gillian Roberts of the victim when delivering Hoggard's sentence at Toronto's University Avenue Courthouse Thursday morning.

In addition to a five-year prison sentence, Roberts has ordered that Hoggard be placed on a sex offender registry for 20 years, banned from possessing any weapons for the next decade, have no contact with the victim and submit his DNA. 

The former Hedley singer, who is from and still resides in Vancouver, is expected to appeal his prison sentence later today. His lawyers are scheduled to launch a challenge at the Ontario Court of Appeal at 2:30 p.m.

Despite the sentence handed down by Justice Roberts this morning, Hoggard could be released from custody, pending the appeal, as early as this afternoon.

Hoggard had initially pleaded not guilty on all charges after being arrested and charged in 2018 with two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm and one count of sexual interference (the sexual touching of someone under 16.)

The 38-year-old father of two and disgraced pop star was found guilty in June of 2022 on one count of sexual assault causing bodily harm — after several pandemic-related delays, a nearly one-month-long trial, and six days of jury deliberation.

While the jury concluded that Hoggard was guilty of violently raping an Ottawa woman in a Toronto hotel room in 2016, the musician was acquitted by the same jury on two other charges related to the alleged groping and rape of a teenager, also in 2016.

The younger defendant, a former fan of Hedley, says that she was initially groped by Hoggard at one of his concerts in April of 2016. She was 15 years old. The woman says Hoggard violently raped her at a Toronto-area hotel later the same year, after she had turned 16.

During the trial, both women testified that Hoggard had slapped them, choked them, spit in their mouths, called them derogatory names and left them bleeding and bruised during their encounters with the B.C.-born singer.

Hoggard's lawyers maintained throughout the trial that all sex acts with both women were consensual.

Crown prosecutors had been seeking six to seven years for Hoggard as a result of his conviction, while the defence were proposing three to four years.

Based on the severity of his crime, he was facing up to 14 years in prison under Canada's Criminal Code.

The B.C. musician still has another sexual assault causing bodily harm trial ahead of him, this one related to charges of raping a young woman at an Ontario music festival in 2016.

Lead photo by

Kris Pangilinan

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