Jacob Hoggard case to be heard by jury if it goes to trial

Hedley lead singer Jacob Hoggard performs during the band's final concert of their current tour in Kelowna, B.C. on Friday, March 23, 2018. A two-day preliminary hearing is expected to begin today in the sex assault case of Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff Bassett

TORONTO - The sex assault case of Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard will be heard by a jury if it goes to trial.

Hoggard, who was in a Toronto court Thursday for a two-day preliminary hearing, made the request through his lawyer.

He also pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm and one count of sexual interference.

Hoggard, who wore a grey suit and white shirt, did not otherwise speak during the proceedings. He sat next to his lawyer and looked ahead.

The preliminary hearing will determine whether the case goes to trial.

There is a publication ban on any evidence presented at the hearing as well as any information that could identify the two complainants in the case.

Hoggard was arrested and charged last summer after allegations of sexual misconduct emerged.

Toronto police have said the charges relate to three separate incidents involving a woman and a girl under the age of 16 that allegedly occurred in the Toronto area in 2016.

Hoggard, 35, has previously denied engaging in non-consensual sexual behaviour, but has said he acted in a way that objectifies women.

Hedley has been on an indefinite hiatus since the allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced.

The preliminary hearing resumes Friday.

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

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