University of Guelph prof faces assault charges after video surfaces

John Kissick, a fine arts professor from the University of Guelph, is facing two charges of assault and one charge of assault with a weapon after a video of him allegedly beating his ex-girlfriend surfaced on social media, according to information from court documents provided to CBC News.

Fine arts professor John Kissick has been accused of abusing his ex-girlfriend Talia Yeo

A picture of Kissick and Yeo posted on Yeo's personal Facebook page on Sept. 13, 2017. (Facebook: Talia Rose )

John Kissick, a fine arts professor from the University of Guelph, is facing two charges of assault and one charge of assault with a weapon after a video of him allegedly beating his ex-girlfriend surfaced on social media, according to information from court documents provided to CBC News.

Talia Yeo, Kissick's ex-girlfriend of approximately four years, posted the video on her Instagram account and personal Facebook page after enduring almost a year of his physical abuse, she said. 

"Unfortunately when I would speak to John about the way he was treating me, the narrative that was created was that I was crazy, that I was instigating him, that I was bringing it on, there was zero accountability," Yeo said. 
A screenshot of the video Talia Yeo posted on her Instagram account. (Instagram: moonlighttaliarose)

Yeo said she was then advised to "show him" how the behaviour looked from her eyes so she began filming his behaviour. 

"To say 'this is scary behaviour' and this 'was how this makes me feel' and then hopefully he would then be accountable for his actions ... or at least be empathetic — neither of those things ever happened, I was told that I deserved such behaviour," Yeo said. 

In September, Yeo said she finally reported her situation to police as the video was not a "one-off" incident. 

She said the incident in the video she posted happened in July of this year, which also prompted her to go to the hospital that night. Yeo said she went home with "a documented concussion," swollen jaw and "minor bruises" because Kissick had thrown her to the floor and kicked her. 

"For a lot of people, it was a surprise," Yeo said. "How I projected our relationship to be was really sweet and happy." 

In a statement to CBC News, the University of Guelph said it "has become aware of social media posts involving a member of its faculty." 

"The University takes such allegations seriously. We have met with the faculty member and are looking into the situation," the statement said. 

CBC Kitchener-Waterloo also requested an interview with John Kissick but he did not respond or comment. 

Kissick is set to appear in court on Oct. 16. 

With files from the CBC's Kate Bueckert