Hoggard had no power over the complainants in the sexual assault trial: the judge

Jurors in a trial of sexual assault by Canadian musician Jacob Hoggard were told on Tuesday that his celebrity status did not place him in a position of power over the two complainants.

The jury, which began its hearing on Tuesday afternoon, tried a few hours later to clarify in court what constituted an authority relationship in order to obtain consent to sexual activity.

The jurors also asked Ontario High Court Judge Gillian Roberts what constitutes consent fraud and whether consent is still valid if it is based on that person’s belief in a “love lie.”

Roberts told jurors that there was no power or authority or fraud in the case.

Hoggard, 37, denied guilt on two counts of sexual assault and personal interference, one of which is sexual harassment of a person under the age of 16.

Prosecutors say frontman Hedley violently and repeatedly raped a teenage fan and a young Ottawa woman in hotel rooms in the Toronto area in separate incidents in the fall of 2016.

She also claims to have been groping backstage after the Hedley show in Toronto in April 2016, when she was 15.

The Crown emphasized several similarities in the reports submitted by the complainants, two women who had never met or spoken to each other.

These similarities include accusations that Hoggard spat at them, slapped them, and called them derogatory names like “whore” and “whore” during the meeting. The plaintiffs say that the jurors should consider the similarities as an indication of a pattern of conduct.

Advocates say that groping never took place and the sexual encounter was consensual. He alleged that the complainants had lied of being raped in order to cover up their embarrassment after being rejected by a “rock star”.

The defense also states that any similarities between the complainants’ accounts can be attributed to the Hoggard lifestyle at the time.

In his testimony last week, Hoggard stated that he did not have detailed memories of meeting the complainants, but that he was sure they had agreed on their verbal and nonverbal cues.

He told the court that he did not remember spitting, slapping or swearing at the applicant, but that such things could have happened because they were one of his sexual preferences.

As part of their questions to the court on Tuesday night, the jurors also asked whether sex is considered consensual when someone does not say no, but also does say yes.

Referring to the decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal, Roberts told them that the agreement in the context of the sexual assault case was whether the complainant “wanted sexual intercourse in her mind”.

“It exclusively governs the analysis of the complainant’s view of the intervention. It is entirely subjective,” she quoted from the appeal decision.

Finally, she stated that whether the complainant subjectively agreed was a matter of credibility, which must be assessed by the jury on the basis of evidence.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on May 31, 2022.


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