Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

August 15, 2013

Retired minister enters no contest plea in assault charge

By Michael R. Moser
Editor

CROSSVILLE — A retired minister and former congressional candidate from New Mexico has entered a no contest plea to a reduced charge of aggravated assault in a 2012 sexual battery charge in an incident that took place at a local resort.

Albert Donald Kissling, 78, of Las Cruces, NM, was originally accused in an arrest warrant in a June 6 incident that occurred at Wyndham timeshare in Fairfield Glade involving an employee of the company’s house cleaning department.

An arrest and incident report filed by Fairfield Glade Public Safety Officer Wesley Pemberton reported that Kissling “grabbed her, touching her bosom and kissed her on the check. This was without her permission and after she told him not to.”

Kissling was taken into custody as he was in the process of leaving the resort. He was indicted by the Cumberland County Grand Jury in January of this year.

Although Kissling did not admit guilt in his nolo contendere (no contest) plea, the plea is officially entered into the record as a guilty plea. However, as part of the sentencing agreement, Kissling was granted judicial diversion which means if he successfully completes his one year on supervised probation, he can then petition to have the conviction removed from the permanent record.

The sentencing agreement allows the victim to avoid having to testify during a trial.