Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard's sex-assault case put over to August

Jacob Hoggard's sex-assault case has been put over until next month, with a lawyer appearing on his behalf in a Toronto court Thursday following the Hedley singer's arrest earlier this week.

Singer arrested, charged with sexual assault in Toronto Monday

Police released this image of Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard following his arrest in Toronto on Monday. (Toronto Police Service)

Jacob Hoggard's sex-assault case has been put over until next month, with a lawyer appearing on his behalf in court Thursday following the Hedley singer's arrest this week.

"I am of course aware that there is a not-insignificant level of public interest in this case and, in particular, the position of Mr. Hoggard with respect to the allegations that have been made against him," lawyer Ian R. Smith told reporters immediately after a brief afternoon hearing at Toronto's Old City Hall courthouse.

"I do not expect to make any public comments about the case other than the comments I make in court. Mr. Hoggard's position will become clear in due course and as appropriate, as the matter proceeds through the court."

Smith appeared in court Thursday to file a designation of counsel, to allow him to appear on Hoggard's behalf.

Toronto police arrested the 34-year-old pop-rock singer on Monday and charged him with two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm and one count of sexual interference, a charge laid in cases where the alleged victim is under 16.

There is a publication ban on the identities of the two complainants.

According to court documents, the charges concern three incidents that allegedly occurred in 2016: in April and September related to the first complainant and November related to the second. 

On Monday, Toronto police released a mugshot of the singer and expressed concern "there may be other victims."

Police released Hoggard from custody on several conditions, including staying away from the complainants, abstaining from direct or indirect communication with them and not publishing, broadcasting or transmitting any information that could reveal their identities.

Hoggard, who is from Vancouver, has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex. 

During Hedley's Cageless tour, which ended in Kelowna, B.C., in late March, Hoggard faced allegations that he had had inappropriate encounters with fans. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Earlier this year, Hedley's 32-city Cageless tour was enveloped in controversy as anonymous women took to social media to accuse the group of sexual misconduct.

As complaints against Hoggard and the band grew, Hedley withdrew from an appearance at the 2018 Juno Awards and the band's music was pulled from radio and streaming playlists. The band's management company also cut ties, as did Hedley's opening acts.

Following the tour, the band began an indefinite hiatus.

Hoggard's case is scheduled to return to court on Aug. 15.

With files from Eli Glasner and Nigel Hunt