Jacob Hoggard case highlights barriers for sexual assault victims: advocate


Warning: This story discusses sexual assault

In the wake of musician Jacob Hoggard being sentenced to 5 years in jail for sexually assaulting an Ottawa girl, one advocate says the drawn-out case highlights the challenges victims face in coming ahead.

“(The survivor) talked about how because of the delays, she had to relive this experience for much longer than she should have, and I think, will five years make her feel like she’s got justice? Probably not,” Bailey Reid, a sexual violence prevention advocate primarily based in Ottawa, informed CTV National News.

She’s involved {that a} mixture of traumatizing parts on this case — its period, its public factor and elements of the defence — may very well make extra sexual assault survivors hesitant to report sooner or later.

“I think this would discourage women from coming forward,” she mentioned.

The sentencing got here Thursday after Hoggard was discovered responsible in June of sexually assaulting an Ottawa girl six years in the past in a resort room.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Gillian Roberts mentioned she accepted the lady’s account in its entirety, and described the rape as involving “gratuitous violence.”

The Crown had requested for a sentence of six to seven years, whereas the defence prompt Hoggard solely be jailed for three to 4 years.

“In terms of the sentencing, I always think about survivors and to me, the most important thing is that the survivors get the outcome that they are seeking,” Reid mentioned.

“From what I heard of the survivors’ statements and the impact statements that were read in the court, I don’t know that five years would have been enough to see justice.”

Just hours after he was sentenced on Thursday, Hoggard attended a bail listening to and was later granted bail pending the result of an attraction of his conviction.

This means he received’t be going through jail time simply but.

The decide in the end determined that Hoggard didn’t current sufficient of a danger to society to maintain him behind bars till the attraction got here to court docket, and Reid mentioned that a number of the reasoning introduced was irritating to listen to.

At one level, the dialogue within the courtroom turned to psychological assessments and whether or not or not Hoggard had “some sot of paraphilia that we can account this violence to, some sort of mental sickness,” Reid mentioned — a framing that she thinks is totally unhelpful.

“Sexual violence happens, again, from people all across the board,” she mentioned, explaining that framing it as the results of a “paraphilia” could be damaging.

While assessing his potential risk degree to society, the decide talked about that Hoggard’s lack of standing as a musician on account of this sexual assault case implies that he received’t have the identical entry to potential victims sooner or later.

Reid felt this wasn’t related in assessing his potential to re-offend.

“We know that he could still meet women anywhere and cause harm,” she mentioned. “They said that he’s grown and matured and learned things — (but) to chalk the attacks that his survivors faced up to just not knowing, I don’t think is true. I think he did know, and I think a lot of people maybe knew and had a role to play.”

Reid mentioned it felt vastly essential to listen to the decide say she believed the lady who recounted her sexual assault, mentioning that in some circumstances, judges themselves forged doubt on survivors.

“I think hearing a judge say ‘I believe you’ was really powerful,” Reid mentioned.

“However, it was also balanced with a lot of character praise of Jacob Hoggard. That was problematic to me, and I thought for a lot of the survivors who came forward — and the ones who didn’t come forward — hearing those kinds of comments from a judge was probably really negatively impactful.”

At one level, the dialog turned to Hoggard’s vegetable backyard, and the way he donated greens to his neighborhood — a reality irrelevant to his crime, Reid mentioned.

“It’s a problem when we think of sexual violence in a ‘good or bad person’ dichotomy,” she mentioned.

“People can cause harm, and gendered harm particularly, and also grow vegetables. So we can’t just say because he gave vegetables to his neighbours, there’s no way he could have done this harm.”


In her impression assertion, the Ottawa girl mentioned her life was “shattered” by this assault, and the court docket case was vastly tough.

“I was shown a video of a woman that wasn’t even me and berated until I said it was,” she mentioned within the assertion. “No one should ever have to endure the cruelty I faced in this court room.”

Victims have to inform police what occurred to them first, risking cops downplaying their assault, Reid mentioned, after which repeat it in court docket whereas being questioned as a witness.

“Then to have to come back in an appeal if the appeal is granted and there is another trial — these are all really huge barriers for reporting sexual violence,” she mentioned.

“I think we also have to think about how the justice system is accessible to different women. So if you’re a white woman, versus if you’re a racialized woman, if you’re a woman with a disability, if you’re a trans or non-binary person, these are all identities that shape the way you experience the justice system.”

Sexual assault disaster traces, and a listing of different assets, could be discovered right here.


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