Kansas lawmaker faces 3 battery charges over school incident

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas House member was charged Monday with three counts of misdemeanor battery, accused of having made “rude, insulting or angry” contact with two teenage students in a classroom while working as a substitute teacher.

The charges against Republican state Rep. Mark Samsel, of Wellsville, arose from a student reporting an April 28 incident involving Samsel. He was arrested the next day and released on $1,000 bond. His first appearance in Franklin County District Court by video conference is scheduled for 8 a.m. Wednesday.

A criminal complaint filed by Franklin County Attorney Brandon Jones accuses Samsel of having made physical contact with two 15- or 16-year-old students “in a rude, insulting or angry manner.” The complaint identifies the students only by their initials.

The third charge alleges that Samsel caused “bodily harm” to one of the students.

Jones declined to comment about the case. Samsel did not immediately respond to a phone message and email seeking comment.

One video provided by a parent of Wellsville students from that day, which the parent said was shot by students, showed Samsel grabbing a boy, pushing him against a wall and telling him, “I could put the wrath of God on you right now,” before the boy breaks free and runs away, yelling.

Other videos showed Samsel talking about suicide, sex, masturbation, God and the Bible.

The complaint against Samsel lists more than 30 potential witnesses, including at least 11 minors.

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This story has been corrected to show that the charges accuse Samsel of having made contact with two students “in a rude, insulting or angry manner,” not a “rude, insulting and angry manner.”

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