Fans react to Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard's arrest for sexual assault
Canadian singer-songwriter Jacob Hoggard has been charged with multiple counts of sexual assault involving two different women in the GTA, according Toronto and Peel Region police.
The 34-year-old entertainer, best known as the lead singer of Hedley, was arrested on Monday and is scheduled to appear in a Toronto courtroom on July 24 at 2 p.m.
A joint press release from the Toronto Police Service and Peel Regional Police indicates that Hoggard "met with two women on separate occasions" over three dates sometime in 2016.
He is alleged to have "committed a sexual assault on each of them" and, as a result, has been charged with two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm.
Hoggard also faces one charge of sexual interference, which Canada's Criminal Code defines as touching the body of any person under 16 years of age for sexual purposes.
Police said in a press release on Monday night that they are "concerned there may be other victims."
Jacob Hoggard, 34, charged in Sexual Assault investigation. Man’s photograph released. Police concerned there may be other victims. If you believe you are or may be a victim contact Toronto Police Sex Crimes Detective Constable James Thompson 416-808-7474 #GO505486 pic.twitter.com/GoQaew4NPN— TPS Sex Crimes (@TPSSexCrimes) July 23, 2018
Earlier this year, Hoggard vehemently denied public allegations of sexual misconduct involving young fans.
The rock-pop band continued to tour and perform for about two weeks in March amidst mounting controversy, but announced on February 28 that it would be "taking an indefinite hiatus."
Deeply saddened that my fave band Hedley was already in Hiatus. But I am more sad that the reason why the lead singer was now in jail was bc of sexual assault. Why ruin your life and career, man? Why Jacob Hoggard? :(— J ♏ (@yellueangel) July 24, 2018
In light of the arrest, some of Hedley's most hardcore fans are now changing their minds about supporting the group.
Many fans had been defending Hoggard — some of them viciously so — since the sexual misconduct allegations first surfaced in February.
Some say that the charges mean nothing, and are still publicly declaring their love and support for Hoggard on Twitter using the hashtag #IStandWithHedley.
It’s funny how even Jacob Hoggard HATERS are using #IStandWithHedley I mean, with that hashtag, you morons do know your supporting them right. Lol which is good! They deserve all the support they can get. I still love Hedley! Once a TRUE fan, always a TRUE fan! ❤️💜💙💚💛— ✨Super Saiyan Goddess✨ (@SSJGoddess94) July 24, 2018
"Anyone that has anything bad to say to me about Jacob will be ignored, I have looked up to and adored this man for many years," wrote one young woman on Twitter early Tuesday.
"While I am very disappointed in his actions I still will love him and support him though this."
Still isn’t proven and I still believe @JacobHoggard— Kimmee (@kimloveshedley) July 23, 2018
Others say the time has finally come to let go of a childhood icon.
saw Jacob Hoggard trending....I've officially lost all respect for this man I can't believe I defended that pile of shit when the allegations first came out I've loved hedley since I was a teenager but no more cause Jacob Hoggard is a pile of steaming shit— Jillian (@mjgurl26) July 23, 2018
Those who were flamed by Hedley fans following the first round of allegations, like Lizzie Renaud of Toronto's Speakeasy Tattoo, are chiding those who came at them back in February.
"If any of you Hedley supporters who made my life hell, sent me death threats or forced my shop to close for gun threats wanted to say sorry, my PayPal link is right in my bio," wrote Renaud, who offered to cover up Hedley tattoos for free when the first allegations dropped.
For real, you kids cost me money. You’re thieves if you don’t pay for my time you stole.— Lizzie Renaud (@LZA) July 24, 2018
Others are simply surprised that it didn't happen sooner.
"I met him once," wrote one woman on Twitter. "He groped me and my friend and made some seriously sexually explicit comments in front of the other band members."
yall thought jacob hoggard was so innocent when the guy has a song called dont talk to strangers and the song sounds like it was written by a fucking predator,,,,oh wait pic.twitter.com/dOUAdBDYe3— 💗kei💗 THEY/THEM THANKS (@nekotakashii) July 23, 2018
"People who grew up in the neighborhood Jacob Hoggard is from know he's always been like this," wrote another user from B.C.
"There are more women who need to come forward and I personally know some of you," he continued. "I really hope that we can stop this man from further victimization of women. Please do the right thing."
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