Former Kingsville fire chief sentenced to five years in prison
Former Kingsville fire Chief Robert Kissner has learned his fate.
The 63-year-old was sentenced to five years in prison on Thursday. He will submit a DNA sample and go on the sex offender registry for life.
“He got what he deserved,” says one of Kissner's victims, whose identity is still protected by a court-ordered publication ban. “He's a very callous person, remorseless in his statement, he's a hypocrite to the religion he hides behind and the oath he took to serve the public.”
Kissner was convicted of five sexual assault offences and four sexual exploitation offenses against four male victims.
Justice Pamela Hebner told the court Kissner “abused his position of authority. He abused not only the trust of the four victims, but the trust of the parents of the young victims.”
Hebner gave Kissner a chance to speak to the court before he was sentenced.
“The truth is we aren’t perfect,” Kissner told the court. “We all make mistakes. We all make decisions we regret. That is certainly the case in my life.”
Kissner didn’t look at the victims in the gallery. He told the court nothing he can say will change their opinion of him and he never offered an apology.
Defence lawyer Ken Marley was asking for a sentence of under two years to be served in a provincial jail, so Kissner can get counselling because he has identity problems, in terms of his sexuality.
“He's very concerned obviously about what's going to happen,” says Marley. “The notoriety of the case makes it very difficult to serve time, particularly locally, but anywhere and so he's very concerned about his safety but he knows that he has to go through this.”
Crown attorney Jennifer Holmes believed Kissner should go to a federal prison for between five and eight years.
“We've seen throughout the trial,” says Holmes. “Mr. Kissner takes the view that what he did was not criminal behaviors and he maintained that right up until the end.”
Marley has been hinting at a possible appeal of this conviction, but tells CTV News Kissner has reached out to appellate counsel but hasn't decided yet. He does have 30 days to make that choice.
Kissner is also facing two new charges from one new complainant who came forward in March.
Marley says those are back before a judge next January.