Jacob Hoggard, who finished in third place on Canadian Idol in 2004, was sentenced on Thursday (Oct 29) to five years in Jail for the sexual assault of an Ottawa, Canada woman.
The hearing began on Oct. 5 in person then continued Oc. 14 on Zoom, at which Hoggard declined his right to speak. He was in court for the sentencing, after which he embraced his wife before being led out.
Back in June, after a four week trial, a jury found Hoggard guilty of sexual assault causing bodily harm of a woman who was only known as JB. The singer could have gotten a much stiffer sentence–up to 14 years in jail. The Canadian Crown sought a sentence between six t0 seven years in jail. The defence asked for three to four years.
“Ultimately, the total sentence must be proportionate to the gravity of the offending conduct and the circumstances of the offender, including his degree of responsibility,” Ontario Superior Court Justice Gillian Roberts stated. “It must be sufficient to reflect the inherent harmfulness of a manipulative and particularly degrading rape.”
Hoggart sentenced to 5 years in jail
She then asked Hoggard to stand. “In all the circumstances of this offense, and this offender, I believe a fit and appropriate sentence is five years.”
Hoggard’s legal team had already filed a notice of appeal. The victim has also filed a lawsuit for $2.8 million Canadian (USD $2M).
In the trial, Hoggard was found guilty of one count of sexual assault causing bodily harm, but not guilty of two charges against another woman. One was the same charge and the other of sexual interference (referring to a person under the age of 16).
The assaults, one who was a minor at the time, allegedly occurred in 2016. in Hoggard’s hotel room. Hoggard to the stand in his own defence and pled not guilty to all charges.
There is still another charge
There is yet another charge that had been kept out of the media since March to avoid tainting the current jury. Hoggard will face a new trial on one charge of sexual assault causing bodily harm. The rape is alleged to have occurred in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, in 2016 when his band Hedley was on tour.
Allegations began on social media in 2018
Allegations against Hoggard first surfaced on social media in 2018. After multiple women and girls told their stories online, Hoggard issued a statement in February 2018, which read in part, “I need to be completely clear: I have never engaged in non-consensual sexual behaviour in my life. Ever. However, over the last 13 years, I have behaved in a way that objectified women.” He added, “It’s time for me to change. I’ve decided to step away from my career indefinitely.”
Headley’s agency, management and record label dropped the band and radio pulled their music from stations. Hoggard was charged in July of 2018. He married his second wife later that year on Dec. 31.
Hedley found multi-platinum success after Canadian Idol
After Canadian Idol, the singer’s band signed with Universal Music Canada. Capitol signed them in the U.S. in 2006 but later dropped them. In Canada, the band had multi-platinum success that included chart topping singles, and headlining tours. Hoggard hosted the Juno Awards in 2015. The band’s seventh and final album, Cageless, was released in 2017.