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Assault charges against U of G professor dropped

John Kissick and ex-girlfriend Talia Yeo will enter into a mutual peace bond to resolve a two-year-old matter
Photograph of John Kissick posted to the Facebook account of Talia Yeo.

All assault charges against local artist and University of Guelph professor John Kissick were dropped in court Monday.

Kissick was charged in October 2018 in relation to an alleged assault on Talia Yeo, who was identified at the time as an ex-girlfriend.

The charges against both parties are to be dropped and each will enter into a peace bond with orders not to have contact with one another. 

Four charges Kissick was facing were dropped Monday and he has no current charges against him, as confirmed by the office of the Crown Attorney. Two of those charges were for assault, with an additional two charges of assault with a weapon.

Yeo is also facing charges related to the incident, including two counts of criminal harassment, failure to attend court and two counts of fail to comply with an undertaking.

The mutual peace bond and dropping of charges for both parties was suggested by Yeo’s counsel, said Kissick’s defence attorney Michelle Dwyer.

“This will let both people get on with their lives,” Dwyer told Justice Gary Hearn.

She said Kissick was very willing, able and keen to comply with the terms of the no-contact order that comes with the peace bond.

The terms of the mutual peace bond deal were reached very recently and the dates set aside for the trial have now been vacated.

“The trial would have been a gong show,” said Dwyer.

The peace bond prohibits Kissick from contact or communication with Yeo, either directly or indirectly, by any physical, electronic or other means, including posts on social media. He is not to contact any member of her family or work or business associates and not attend any place where he knows her to work, live, go to school or frequent.

An attorney representing Yeo told GuelphToday on Monday that she is expected to enter into a similar peace bond next month.

Yeo’s charges have not yet been dealt with yet and she was not in court on Monday.

Crown attorney Stephanie Turner told the court Yeo had agreed to the deal in principle and will enter into the peace bond at a later date. The next time her matters come up in court is on Jan. 31.

The incident Kissick was charged for was alleged to have occurred on July 28, 2018, at his home.

Court heard an argument led to Yeo retrieving what was referred to as a surveillance camera set up in his house. Kissick came toward Yeo in an effort to get a phone that was in her hand.

No acknowledged assault took place during the incident, said Dwyer.

Kissick has been on leave from the U of G. In an email Monday, university spokesperson Lori Bona-Hunt said Kissick is still a professor and is currently on a prearranged research leave.

Aside from his work at the university, Kissick is a co-founder of Four Fathers Brewing Co. based in Cambridge.

EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this story stated Kissick had a single charge drop, when in fact it was all four charges against him.

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Kenneth Armstrong

About the Author: Kenneth Armstrong

Kenneth Armstrong is a news reporter and photojournalist who regularly covers municipal government, business and politics and photographs events, sports and features.
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