Entertainment

'A part of me died that day,' says Ottawa woman sexually assaulted by Jacob Hoggard

A sentencing hearing was scheduled Thursday for Canadian musician Jacob Hoggard, who was found guilty earlier this year of a sexual assault on an Ottawa woman. She is now suing him for $2.8 million.

A jury found Hoggard guilty of sexual assault causing bodily harm in June

Musician Jacob Hoggard arrives at court for his sentencing hearing in Toronto on Thursday. An Ottawa woman who was sexually assaulted by Hoggard in 2016 is suing him for $2.8 million, according to documents obtained by CBC News. (Alex Lupul/The Canadian Press)

An Ottawa woman who was sexually assaulted by Canadian musician Jacob Hoggard nearly six years ago says she was "never the same" after that day.

In an emotional address to a Toronto courtroom this morning, the woman said the Nov. 22, 2016, incident robbed her of her confidence, her dreams and aspirations, and kept her from living her 20s like most other people do.

Instead, she said she cried herself to sleep and prayed not to wake up the next day — something she said still happens six years later.

"A part of me died that day that I will never get back," she said during the first day of Hoggard's sentencing hearing.

"My life as I knew it was stolen from me and shattered beyond recognition. The assault took away my worth, my privacy, my body, my confidence and my voice."

The Crown says it will seek a sentence of six to seven years.

From left, Hoggard's wife Rebekah Asselstine, Hoggard and Justice Gillian Roberts listen as the victim, right, reads her victim impact statement to the court as her supporters look on in a Thursday courtroom illustration. (Alexandra Newbould/The Canadian Press)

In her victim impact statement Thursday, the Ottawa woman said she was further traumatized after coming forward with her allegations in 2018.

"I was ridiculed online by complete strangers. Women I've never even met were making T-shirts and signs in support of the man that raped me," she said.

The roughly four years it took for the trial to come to completion also added to her trauma, forcing her to relive the sexual assault every time a hearing was rescheduled, she said.

The woman is suing Hoggard for $2.8 million, according to documents obtained Thursday by CBC News.

The lawsuit, dated Oct. 3, 2022, was filed with Ontario's Superior Court of Justice. The statement of claim says that the woman suffered damages and losses as a direct result of the encounter with the Hedley frontman.

Some of the cited losses include a negative impact on her physical and mental health, an inability to finish her postsecondary schooling and earn an income, and the impairment of her ability to develop normal relationships.

During Thursday's sentencing hearing, the court heard Hoggard had just been served with the document. A statement of defence has not yet been filed.

Hoggard and Asselstine arrive at court in Toronto on Thursday. (Alex Lupul/The Canadian Press)

Hoggard in court Thursday

A jury found Hoggard, born and raised in B.C.'s Lower Mainland, guilty of sexual assault causing bodily harm in June. The incident took place in a Toronto hotel room in 2016. Hoggard is in court Thursday for the sentencing hearing.

But jurors found him not guilty of the same offence against a teenage fan. Neither woman can be identified under a publication ban.

Hoggard, 38, had pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm — one related to each complainant — and one count of sexual interference, a charge that refers to the sexual touching of someone under 16.

During the trial, Crown prosecutors alleged Hoggard repeatedly raped the two complainants in separate incidents in the fall of 2016. They also alleged he groped the teen after a Hedley concert in April 2016, when she was 15.

The defence argued that the groping never happened, and that Hoggard had consensual sex with each of the complainants.


Support is available for anyone who has been sexually assaulted. You can access crisis lines and local support services through this Government of Canada website or the Ending Violence Association of Canada database. ​​If you're in immediate danger or fear for your safety or that of others around you, please call 911.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this article stated that the Ottawa woman's lawsuit said the assault impacted her ability to finish high school. In fact, she said it impacted her ability to complete her postsecondary education.
    Oct 07, 2022 4:10 PM ET

With files from CBC News

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