For the second time since they began deliberations, jurors in the Jacob Hoggard rape trial told the judge they were at an impasse.
“We are not able to reach a verdict on some counts,” they said in a letter to Ontario Superior Court Justice Gillian Roberts.
She was leaning toward allowing them to call it a day but both the Crown and defense agreed she should encourage them one last time.
And so just as she did when they told her they were deadlocked on Thursday, Roberts urged the jury to go back and try again.
Roberts reminded them that no other jury will be in a better position to decide this case.
“We expect you’re tired and fed up. But please don’t feel pressure that you need to be done with this by Friday. There is no deadline,” she told them.
“If you wouldn’t mind conferring and just having a think about whether there is anything else that might assist you or whether you’re at a genuine impasse, and then let us know.”
After they filed back to their jury room, Roberts turned to the lawyers.
“They all look so tired and I know they have been working very hard,” she sighed.
To their credit, they did continue to deliberate and sent another letter, this time asking to hear a playback of all the testimony from Hoggard and the second complainant about the events surrounding Nov. 22, 2016, when the Ottawa woman alleges he violently raped her several times in the Thompson Hotel.
Earlier in the day, they had asked a question about assessing her state of mind — and so it seems clear the jury is stuck on delivering a verdict concerning the second complainant.
Hoggard, 37, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm — one a high school fan who was 16 and the other, an Ottawa college student. He’s also pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual interference, related to the sexual touching of the fan when she was 15.
Hoggard vehemently denied the accusations when he took the stand and his lawyer maintained the women made false allegations of rape after feeling humiliated by a celebrity who used them for meaningless sex.
In emotional and often heart-wrenching testimony, his accusers told a very different story.
The first complainant testified that after a flurry of romantic texts, Hoggard sent a car for her on Sept. 30, 2016. She thought they were going to spend the day sightseeing in Toronto, she said, but instead he took her up to his room de ella at an airport hotel, raped her repeatedly, slapped her and spit in her mouth, leaving her bruised and bleeding.
The second complainant, who met Hoggard on Tinder, knew they were meeting to have sex at the Toronto hotel. Instead of a consensual encounter, she described a very similar attack, where she alleged he violently raped her, slapped her and spit in her mouth as well as choked her to the point she thought she was going to die.
Hoggard’s defense lawyer Megan Savard accused the Ottawa woman of numerous inconsistencies in her accounts about what happened, including the number of times he spit on her, when he took away her phone and when she got dressed.
The jury also seems focused on her credibility, asking numerous times about how they can use the phone call Hoggard secretly recorded after their encounter. Confronted with the recording during cross-examination, the Ottawa woman admitted she lied when she told Hoggard she needed stitches to her vagina de ella and that she was going to consult a lawyer.
She explained that she was trying to provoke him into apologizing.
Savard accused her of lying in the call just as she’s lied about the rape.
Now the jury wants to hear both their versions of the encounter again.
With hours still remaining in the requested playback, jurors retired for the night and will enter their fifth day of deliberations on Saturday.