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Defence argues Hoggard treated women disrespectfully but is not serial rapist

'Disrespectful, not rapist'

Defence lawyers are telling a Toronto jury that Jacob Hoggard may have been cavalier and disrespectful towards women, but he is not a "sadistic serial rapist."

In her closing arguments this morning, defence lawyer Megan Savard painted her client as an insecure, attention-starved rock star who routinely succumbed to the temptation and easy validation of one-night stands while touring with the band Hedley, even when in a relationship.

Savard argued the two women accusing Hoggard of sexual assault may have felt "short-changed and deceived" by him, but that is not a crime.

Hoggard, 37, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm and one of sexual interference, a charge that refers to the sexual touching of someone under 16.

The Crown alleges Hoggard violently and repeatedly raped a 16-year-old fan and a young woman in separate incidents in the fall of 2016. Both testified they cried and said no throughout the encounters.

It's also alleged Hoggard groped the younger complainant backstage after a Hedley concert in Toronto in April 2016, when she was still 15.

The defence says the groping never happened, and argues the sexual encounters were consensual.

Hoggard testified earlier this week that he had consensual, "passionate" sex with each of the complainants in Toronto-area hotels.

He acknowledged some of the acts the women described – including spitting, slapping and calling them derogatory names – may have happened because they were part of his sexual repertoire.

The Crown is expected to make its final submissions to the jury this afternoon, and deliberations could begin as early as Tuesday.



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