Hoggard trial jurors review testimony after telling court they were deadlocked

TORONTO — Jurors in the sexual assault trial of Canadian musician Jacob Hoggard began reviewing hours of testimony Friday night after telling the court they were still at an impasse.

TORONTO — Jurors in the sexual assault trial of Canadian musician Jacob Hoggard began reviewing hours of testimony Friday night after telling the court they were still at an impasse.

The jury initially said it was deadlocked on Thursday morning and was sent back to deliberate further, then came back just over a day later saying it still couldn’t agree on ” some” of the counts.

Ontario Superior Court Judge Gillian Roberts told them to consider whether further instructions or a review of the evidence would help or if they were at a “real impasse”.

“No other jury will ever be better placed than you to decide this case,” the judge said.

“We know you’ve worked very hard…we think you’re tired and weary. But please don’t feel you have to be done with this by Friday – there’s no date limit.”

Jurors returned about an hour later, asking the court to replay testimony from Hoggard and the second plaintiff about their meeting on Nov. 22, 2016. They began listening to a recording of the evidence and were scheduled to continue Saturday morning.

Hoggard, lead singer of Hedley, pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm and one of sexual interference, a charge that refers to sexual touching of a person under the age of 16.

The Crown alleges that Hoggard, 37, violently and repeatedly raped a teenage fan and a young woman from Ottawa in separate incidents in the fall of 2016. It further alleges that he groped the teenager after a Hedley show in April 2016, when she was 15.

The defense argues that the groping did not take place and that the two sexual encounters were consensual. Defense attorneys argue that the plaintiffs fabricated rape allegations to cover up their embarrassment at being dismissed by Hoggard.

Earlier Friday, jurors sought more help from the court on how to use the evidence in a phone call between Hoggard and the second plaintiff that was recorded without her knowledge days after the alleged sexual encounter.

Roberts had previously told them the call could be used to assess the plaintiff’s behavior and state of mind, and on Friday they asked for clarification on the legal definition of “state of mind” and how the apply to evaluate the call.

The judge said state of mind is defined as “beliefs, perceptions, emotions or intent”.

Jurors could, but were not required to, infer from the call that the second plaintiff was upset, the judge told them. If they do, then they should be wondering why she was upset, she said.

The Crown alleges the complainant was upset because she was sexually assaulted, while the defense argues it was because she was humiliated, Roberts said.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on June 3, 2022.

Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press


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