Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard's sex assault trial postponed again due to COVID-19

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TORONTO — Canadian musician Jacob Hoggard, the frontman for the band Hedley, has once again seen his sexual assault trial postponed as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.

Hoggard was initially set to stand trial in January 2021, but it was pushed back to April of that year, and then again to this month.

Now, as jury trials are again put on hold due to the pandemic, his case has been delayed once more.

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice announced in mid-December that there would be no new jury selection until at least Feb. 7 in light of the highly contagious Omicron variant.

However, it said the decision to continue or pause jury trials already underway would be left to the presiding judge.

Hoggard pleaded not guilty at his preliminary hearing to sexual assault causing bodily harm and sexual interference.

The singer was arrested and charged in 2018 in alleged incidents involving a woman and a teenager.

At the time, police said the charges stemmed from three separate incidents that allegedly took place in the Toronto area in 2016.

Neither complainant can be identified due to a publication ban.

An investigation was launched earlier that year after allegations surfaced suggesting Hoggard had inappropriate encounters with young fans.

Months before his arrest, Hoggard issued a statement in which he acknowledged having behaved in a way that "objectified women" but denied any non-consensual sexual conduct.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 4, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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