Hedley lead singer Jacob Hoggard charged with sexual assault
Published Monday, July 23, 2018 2:01PM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 24, 2018 9:07AM PDT
Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard has been arrested and charged in connection with a sexual assault investigation, Toronto police have confirmed.
The 34-year-old was taken into custody on Monday. He has been charged with sexual interference and two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm, police said in a statement released later that day.
Under Canada's Criminal Code, sexual interference is defined as touching someone under the age of 16, directly or indirectly, for a sexual purpose.
Police launched their investigation after a man allegedly sexually assaulted two women over the course of three dates back in 2016.
Investigators say they're concerned there might be other victims who haven't come forward.
Hedley announced it would go on an "indefinite hiatus" back in March, about a month after several anonymous sexual misconduct allegations began circulating online.
The Abbotsford-based pop-rock group was quickly dropped by its management and blacklisted by radio stations and venues across the country. The embattled band withdrew from its three Juno Award nominations and Hedley's performance at the award ceremony was cancelled.
The band played its last show in Kelowna on March 23.
In a Feb. 28 statement posted on social media, Hoggard firmly denied the allegations.
"I need to be completely clear: I have never engaged in non-consensual sexual behaviour in my life. Ever," he wrote. "However, over the last 13 years, I have behaved in a way that objectified women."
Hoggard admitted to "reckless and dismissive" behaviour towards women, adding that "I understand the significant harm that is caused not only to the women I interacted with, but to all women who are degraded by this type of behaviour.
"I was given a position of leadership and power and I mishandled it. I will regret this for the rest of my life. I've let down my family, my friends, and so many fans. I'm sorry," he added. "It's time for me to change. I've decided to step away from my career."
None of the charges against Hoggard or any of the allegations made online have been proven in court.
Hoggard's lawyer told CTV News Monday he won't be publicly commenting on the matter outside of court, where his client will make an appearance Thursday afternoon.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact Toronto police at 416-808-7474 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).