Former Kingsville fire chief and Christian school teacher Bob Kissner testified on Friday for the first time in his trial on allegations of years of sexual offences with male associates.
Former Kingsville fire chief Bob Kissner says he wasn’t sexually interested in a teenage male — despite giving the youth nude massages that included the buttocks and genitals.
“He said, ‘I want the full massage. You can touch my butt, you can touch my genitals,’” Kissner told the court.
“He asked me to, and I did it.”
According to Kissner, the massages occurred eight to nine times from 2001 to 2003, and the sexual contact was “very brief,” with no ejaculation.
“I didn’t see anything amiss. He seemed to enjoy it,” Kissner testified. “He didn’t pull away. He didn’t get up.”
“If he turned over (during massages), it was of his own accord.”
The complainant — whose name cannot be published — was 16 to 17 years old at the time. Kissner was in his mid-40s.
Kissner made the statements on Friday when he took the witness stand for the first time in his trial on allegations of years of sexual offences.
The 62-year-old former chief of the Kingsville Fire Department, who also once taught at a local Christian academy, is facing 17 charges — 11 counts of sexual assault, five counts of sexual exploitation, and one count of sexual interference.
Eight complainants have testified, all males who were under Kissner’s supervision — four of whom were under the age of 18 at the time of alleged offences.
The complainants cannot be identified due to a publication ban.
Under the questions of defence lawyer Ken Marley on Friday, Kissner described a work and home environment in which it was common for him to offer associates massages and use of his hot tub.
Kissner testified that the complainant involved in the alleged offences from 2001 to 2003 would sometimes stay overnight at Kissner’s residence due to conflicts with his father.
According to Kissner, the teen would expose his penis to Kissner “as kind of a ‘Ha ha’ joke,” including four or five occasions when he walked into a room “brandishing it like a sword.”
On another occasion, the youth walked in with a film canister supposedly containing ejaculate, Kissner said.
“He was quite proud of it,” Kissner told the court. “I was kind of disgusted.”
On two occasions, Kissner said, the complainant gave Kissner massages — once with Kissner clad only in boxer shorts, and once with Kissner naked.
By Kissner’s reckoning, sexual humour was nothing out of the ordinary around the fire hall at that time.
“We’re going back 20 years. It was a different workplace than now,” Kissner told the court.
“There was no indication to me at all he was uncomfortable with what was going on.”
Former Kingsville fire chief Bob Kissner in a 2010 file photo.Sharon Hill / Windsor Star
The youth in question was not the only complainant who consented to sexual contact, according to Kissner.
Kissner testified that from 2013 to 2016, it was a regular occurrence for he and one of the adult male complainants to go to lunch together. During the 10-minute drive, Kissner would put his hand on the complainant’s thigh and move it upward to the groin area.
Contrary to the complainant’s testimony that the advances were unwanted and only occurred three or four times, Kissner estimated that the sexual contact happened on more than 50 occasions.
Kissner testified that he asked the individual multiple times if he felt uncomfortable, and was told each time that it was “all good.”
“I thought he enjoyed it. And certainly, I enjoyed part of it too,” Kissner told the court.
“I honestly thought he had no problem with it.”
The trial continues in the Superior Court of Justice in Windsor on Jan. 30.