jacob hoggard sentence

Here's how long Hedley singer Jacob Hoggard could spend in prison for sexual assault

Hedley frontman-turned-convicted sex offender Jacob Hoggard, who on Sunday was found guilty of violently raping an Ottawa woman in 2016, will likely be sentenced to more than two years in prison, according to an Ontario judge.

And that's only if he's lucky.

Hoggard, 37, had pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm and one count of sexual interference (the sexual touching of someone under 16) after being arrested and charged in 2018 with allegations of raping two separate women.

After several pandemic-related delays, a nearly one-month-long trial that began in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on May 5, and six days of deliberation, a jury found the one-time Canadian pop-rock star guilty on one count of sexual assault causing bodily harm.

Hoggard was convicted of assaulting an Ottawa woman in a downtown Toronto hotel room in November of 2016, but cleared of the same charge (and the sexual interference charge) from another, younger woman.

The younger defendant, a former fan of Hedley, says that she was initially groped by Hoggart 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, though many who've been following the case argue that consent shouldn't have even been possible in the younger complainant's case.

While a sentencing date has yet to be set, Ontario Super Court Justice Justice Gillian Roberts said on Sunday that Hoggard's punishment will likely be determined over the summer.

After the verdict was delivered, Crown prosecutors asked the court to revoke Hoggard's bail privileges until sentencing, calling his actions "brazen, brutal, degrading" and "traumatic."

Judge Roberts denied the request to take bail off the table completely, but did say that she would make his bail conditions stricter after hearing submissions.

Robers also indicated that Hoggart would most likely face a "prison" sentence, as opposed to jail, suggesting that his sentence will be more than two years long.

"Imprisonment is the most serious sentence under our legal system because it deprives a person of their freedom. The Court may sentence a person convicted of an offence to jail," reads the federal government's website.

"An offender who is sentenced to less than two years serves the sentence in a provincial correctional institution. An offender sentenced to two years or more usually serves the sentence in a federal penitentiary."

Under the Criminal Code of Canada, sexual assault causing bodily harm carries with it a punishment of up to 14 years in prison.

The results of a bail hearing taking place today have yet to be announced, though we do know that Hoggard is scheduled to appear back in court on Aug. 4, 2022, to face a new rape allegation lodged in March.

Lead photo by

Kris Pangilinan

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