Earlier this week, Toronto Police released a statement that Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard has been charged and arrested for sexual assault causing bodily harm. Hoggard reportedly turned himself in to police, and published a long public apology on social media.
But, Hoggard makes clear in his statement, "I have never engaged in non-consensual sexual behaviour in my life. However, over the last 13 years, I have behaved in ways that have objectified women."
There's an entire community of fans that continue to defend Hoggard. Fans are tearing down the sexual assault allegations, and are sharing messages of support using the social media hashtag, "#IStandWithHedley."
Fans are adamant on defending Hoggard's innocence until he's proven guilty. "Jacob, today is a day where we start the journey to prove your innocence in court," says one tweet, "All Hedley fans have your back no matter what."
@Hedleyonline @JacobHoggard @TommyMac1 @daverosin @JBeniDrum#IStandWithHedley#IBelieveInJake— Kris (@4kris2say) July 26, 2018
Our hearts are with you tomorrow. Wishing you strength and for this nightmare to be over soon for all of you. We love you Jake. Always will. pic.twitter.com/UASWmMGn8D
Another tweet reads, "Sometimes life sucks and that's why you've got us. The Hedley Army is with you today and every step of the way as you take this first step toward having your name cleared and the truth of your innocence proven in court."
Hoggard-shamers have started a counter hashtag called "#OutHedley2k18" to express solidarity with the women involved in the allegations. The hashtag is also being used to shame Hedley supporters for continuing to stand behind and support Hoggard.
It doesn’t matter if @JacobHoggard is found guilty tomorrow or not, the #IStandWithHedley group will try and say it was just a mistake. Let’s make one thing clear. RAPE IS NOT A MISTAKE. SEXUALLY ASSAULTING SOMEONE IS NOT A MISTAKE. It is a conscious CHOICE. #Metoo #outhedley2k18— Caitlin Strang (@caitlinstrang_) July 25, 2018
"Pretty sure if you still stand with Hedley #IStandWithHedley you’re a piece of sh*t who is supporting a rapist, who was sexually touching girls under 16, which makes him a PAEDOPHILE," says one tweet.
Hoggard is scheduled to appear in a Toronto courtroom today.