De­fence calls sex­ual con­tact with fire chief con­sen­sual

Windsor Star - - CITY + REGION - TAY­LOR CAMP­BELL tcamp­[email protected]­media.com

There was sex­ual con­tact be­tween then-Kingsville fire chief Bob Kiss­ner and a male high school stu­dent, but it was con­sen­sual, the de­fence claimed Fri­day at the for­mer chief ’s sex­ual as­sault trial. On the sec­ond day of a three­week trial be­fore Su­pe­rior Court Jus­tice Pamela Heb­ner, it was the de­fence’s turn to cross-ex­am­ine the first of eight al­leged vic­tims. Lawyer Ken Mar­ley ar­gued the first com­plainant to tes­tify had will­ingly par­tic­i­pated in events that took place be­tween him and Kiss­ner in the early 2000s. “(Kiss­ner) re­spected your wishes by not hav­ing any fur­ther con­tact of a sex­ual na­ture with you again,” Mar­ley said to the com­plainant, re­fer­ring to ear­lier tes­ti­mony that he had con­fronted Kiss­ner in 2009, warn­ing him he would “come for­ward” if he heard about any oth­ers. But the com­plainant re­sponded that that had been years af­ter the al­leged in­ci­dents oc­curred. “I had been liv­ing away for a num­ber of years,” he said, adding it was there­fore not pos­si­ble for Kiss­ner to con­tinue any sex­ual con­tact with him. “I took my­self away from the sit­u­a­tion.” The com­plainant had tes­ti­fied Thurs­day he de­cided to come for­ward af­ter news in 2016 that the On­tario Pro­vin­cial Po­lice had ar­rested and charged Kiss­ner with sex­ual as­sault. Oth­ers sub­se­quently came for­ward, and Kiss­ner now faces 17 crim­i­nal counts: 11 for sex­ual as­sault, five for sex­ual ex­ploita­tion, and one for sex­ual in­ter­fer­ence. The names of the eight al­leged vic­tims, who were as young as 16, are sub­ject to a pub­li­ca­tion ban. Un­der ques­tion­ing Thurs­day by as­sis­tant Crown at­tor­ney Jen­nifer Holmes, the first com­plainant to tes­tify de­scribed bathing in a Jacuzzi-type tub, fol­lowed by mas­sages as well as sleep­overs, dur­ing one of which he said he awoke to the fire chief touch­ing his gen­i­tals. A male high school friend of the first com­plainant fol­lowed him on the witness stand Fri­day af­ter­noon. The Crown’s sec­ond witness stated he saw Kiss­ner touch the com­plainant “on many oc­ca­sions.” When asked to de­scribe the touch­ing, the witness said it was “a lot of mas­sag­ing on the shoul­ders.” “I asked (the com­plainant), ‘ Why is this gen­tle­man touch­ing you?’ He just kind of looked at me and brushed it off, and said, ‘That’s just Bob,’” the witness said, re­call­ing a con­ver­sa­tion he had with the com­plainant over 15 years ago.

On one oc­ca­sion, the friend tes­ti­fied, Kiss­ner started to mas­sage his shoul­ders, but he said Kiss­ner stopped af­ter be­ing asked to. “You ex­pressed a con­cern about it, and he re­spected it,” Mar­ley said dur­ing cross-ex­am­i­na­tion of the witness, who agreed. “Un­like you, (the com­plainant) didn’t say any­thing,” Mar­ley added. Again, the witness agreed. The male witness tes­ti­fied Kiss­ner once of­fered to draw him a Jacuzzi bath af­ter he’d helped Kiss­ner and the trial’s first com­plainant move an or­gan into Kiss­ner’s base­ment.

“I found that kind of odd my­self con­sid­er­ing I did not have swim trunks,” the witness said. “It was an awk­ward sit­u­a­tion from which I man­aged to re­move my­self as quickly as I pos­si­bly could.” When Mar­ley sug­gested the bath was of­fered to him as an op­por­tu­nity to ease what­ever strain his back had in­curred mov­ing the or­gan, the witness dis­agreed. “It was never of­fered to me in that man­ner, sir,” the witness said. The trial re­sumes Mon­day.

Bob Kiss­ner

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