DISCLAIMER: This story contains details about sexual violence.
A young woman suspected of being sexually assaulted by Canadian musician Jacob Hoggard as a teenager is expected to continue giving evidence at her trial in Toronto today.
The woman, who spoke for the first time on Thursday afternoon, is one of two plaintiffs in the case. Neither can be identified under a publication ban.
Prosecutors allege that Hoggard, the frontman of the rock band Hedley, violently raped the two women after bringing them to Toronto-area hotels in separate incidents in 2016. The two complainants had come from outside of the city to see it.
An agreed statement of facts says Hoggard had a “sexual encounter” with each of the plaintiffs on the days they came to his hotel.
The singer has pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm and one count of sexual interference, a charge that refers to sexual touching of a person under the age of 16.
WATCH | Jacob Hoggard sexual assault trial begins:
In testimony Thursday, the plaintiff described meeting Hoggard in a hotel parking lot after an out-of-town concert she attended when she was 12, and began communicating directly with him afterward. a meeting at the age of 15.
She told the court that their conversations became more sexual over time, especially after they started using Snapchat, an app where messages and pictures are only briefly visible. Eventually, the couple exchanged nude photos and Hoggard sent her a video of himself masturbating, she testified.
‘It almost felt like a relationship’: Complainant
The woman said Hoggard had also sent her romantic messages, saying he loved her and saw a future with her. “It almost felt like a relationship,” she told the court on Thursday.
A few weeks after she started texting, he arranged for her and two friends to come see Hedley in Toronto and gave them backstage passes, she said.
Once backstage, she said Hoggard touched her bottom several times, which made her feel uncomfortable. She said she tried to pull away or grab his wrist in hopes he would understand that she wanted him to stop.
Prosecutors allege the pair then planned to meet in Toronto in September, after the complainant turned 16. They allege that Hoggard had her brought to his hotel in Mississauga, Ontario, and repeatedly raped her for several hours.
In its opening statement Thursday, the Crown said the second plaintiff met Hoggard in November after running into him on Tinder while Hedley was in Ottawa.
Later that month, they planned to meet in Toronto, and the Crown alleges that Hoggard raped her “again and again” during a meeting lasting several hours at her downtown hotel.
Both plaintiffs were bleeding, bruised and sore, prosecutors said.