NEWS
07/23/2018 17:05 EDT | Updated 07/24/2018 16:19 EDT

Jacob Hoggard, Hedley Lead Singer, Charged With Sexual Assault

There are two alleged female victims.

Canadian musician Jacob Hoggard has been arrested after a sexual assault investigation, Ontario police said on Monday.

Hoggard, 34, is accused of sexually assaulting two females after meeting them on separate occasions in 2016, according to the Toronto Police Service and the Peel Regional Police Service. They said the alleged incidents happened over "three dates."

Toronto Police
Jacob Hoggard is seen in an arrest photo released by Toronto police on Monday.

The lead singer of rock band Hedley, who lives in Vancouver, has been charged with one count of sexual interference and two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm. Under Canada's Criminal Code, sexual interference is a charge that involves an alleged victim under the age of 16.

Police are concerned there may be other victims, they said in a news release. "A sexual assault is any form of unwanted sexual contact. It includes, but is not limited to, kissing, grabbing, oral sex and penetration," they added.

Earlier from HuffPost Canada:


The charges are the latest development since sexual misconduct allegations began surfacing online, suggesting inappropriate encounters with fans.

A 24-year-old Ottawa fan of the band alleged to CBC News in February that she was sexually assaulted by Hoggard after chatting with him on the dating app Tinder and agreeing to meet him at a hotel in Toronto.

Hoggard's lawyer Brian Shiller said in a statement at the time that Hoggard and the woman had "made a mutual plan to get together to have sex and they did just that.''

Fred Thornhill / Reuters
Hedley perform during the iHeartRadio MuchMusic Video Awards in Toronto on June 19, 2016.

The band announced an "indefinite hiatus" after its Canadian tour ended in March.

The group has since been dropped by its management team, blacklisted by scores of radio stations and abandoned by bands booked as tour openers. Hedley also withdrew itself from consideration for the Juno Awards.

The band's members have called the allegations involving young fans "unsubstantiated," but acknowledged that in the past they "engaged in a lifestyle that incorporated certain rock 'n' roll cliches.''

The musician also faced allegations including groping and making inappropriate sexual remarks to a Calgary radio host seven years ago.

Patrick Doyle / Reuters
Members of the band Hedley pose on the red carpet during the Juno Awards in Ottawa April 1, 2012.

Hoggard rose to fame in 2004 as a charismatic, sexually-charged provocateur on the second season of the smash hit "Canadian Idol." Although he finished in third place, the Surrey, B.C., native parlayed his screentime into a record deal and Hedley's self-titled debut album the following year went on to go double-platinum.

The band became teen darlings and perennial Juno and MuchMusic Video Awards contenders, with Hoggard developing a reputation for over-the-top red carpet antics, including commandeering reporters' microphones (in one case, sticking the device down his pants).

Hoggard is scheduled to appear in Toronto court on Thursday.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-7474 Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637).

With files from Andree Lau/HuffPost Canada