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U of G professor and brewery co-founder faces assault charges

John Kissick is facing two charges of assault and one charge of assault with a weapon against a former girlfriend
Photograph of John Kissick posted to the Facebook account of Talia Yeo.

A University of Guelph professor charged with assaulting his former partner will return to court next month.

John Kissick is charged with two counts of assault and one count of assault with a weapon.

The case was adjourned to Nov. 6.

Kissick is also a prominent artist and co-founder of Four Fathers Brewing. He was not in court Tuesday.

In a recent CBC article, Kissick’s ex-girlfriend Talia Yeo said she released a video to her Instagram and Facebook accounts after she allegedly endured almost a year of abuse.

In September, Yeo reported the alleged assaults to police.

A statement from the U of G sent to GuelphToday said Kissick is currently on leave, which is standard procedure during a review.

“The University takes matters that affect the safety and well-being of its students, faculty and staff seriously, including gender-based violence. Internally, there are policies and processes in place to address such allegations, and university officials are continuing to review and monitor the situation,” said U of G spokesperson Lori Bona Hunt.

Last week, over 70 current and former students of University of Gueph's fine art program signed a letter of support for Yeo.

“We were shaken earlier this week when it was announced in a CBC story that our professor John Kissick is facing two charges of assault and one charge of assault with a weapon after his former girlfriend, Talia Yeo, went to police,” said Sarah Davidson, a current MFA student at the University of Guelph, in the letter.

“We believe the fact that charges have been laid demonstrates the seriousness of the situation. We would like to highlight that systemic barriers often prevent women from coming forward with such allegations. In light of recent events, we feel it especially pressing to express our support for Talia Yeo and for survivors who report abuse,” said Davidson in the letter.

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

In a post on the company’s Facebook page, Four Fathers general manager Mike Hruden said they do not condone violence of any kind.

“We are proud to state that we offer a safe environment to our valued customers and team,” wrote Hruden. “We ask for your patience at this time, as we allow the experts to deliver justice based on all of the facts.”

Kissick did not immediately reply to an emailed request for comment.

EDITOR'S NOTE: GuelphToday does not permit comments on court stories

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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