A Kansas state legislator who had been charged with battery for allegedly kicking a high school student in the testicles while substitute teaching a class in April pleaded guilty on Monday to three lesser charges of misdemeanor disorderly conduct.
Republican Rep. Mark Samsel, 36, reached a plea deal with local prosecutors that downgraded the three counts of misdemeanor criminal battery he was originally facing.
Franklin County Magistrate Judge Kevin Kimball accepted the agreement and handed down a 90-day suspended jail sentence, ordering the lawmaker to remain on probation for one year, The Kansas City Star reported. Additionally, Samsel was ordered to write letters of apology to two of his teenage victims, whom he is otherwise barred from contacting. Samsel also is prohibited from using social media—including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram—for personal use.
“Your honor, I just want to say I’m sorry for what happened. I never intended to hurt anybody,” Samsel reportedly said during Monday’s hearing.
As previously reported by Law&Crime, the bizarre April 28 incident occurred while Samsel was substitute teaching an art class at Wellsville High School, the same town where he grew up. The school is located about 45 minutes southwest of Kansas City.
Students reportedly filmed numerous videos of the GOP lawmaker opining on a variety of topics including suicide, anti-LGBTQ bigotry, sex, masturbation, and religion.
In one such video, Samsel can reportedly be heard telling the class about “a sophomore who’s tried killing himself three times” allegedly because “he has two parents and they’re both females.”
One male student received the brunt of Samsel’s attention during those tirades, however, leading up to the lawmaker’s arrest.
The Star reviewed several of the student-filmed videos and noted:
Both Samsel and the student paced around the classroom, talking back and forth. Samsel is shown following the student around and grabbing him. In one video, he puts his arms around the student and says that he was being hard on him.
At one point, Samsel tells the student, “You’re about ready to anger me and get the wrath of God. Do you believe me when I tell you that God has been speaking to me?” He then pushes him, and the student runs to the other side of the classroom.
“You should run and scream.”
In another video, he tells students, “Class, you have permission to kick him in the balls.”
Samsel reportedly spent a great deal of time focused on the male student’s testicles.
Parents told the outlet that Samsel “put hands on the student” and kneed him in the crotch. A video apparently recorded just after the attack shows the student on the ground while Samsel stands above him and asks, “did it hurt?”
“[G]o to the nurse, she can check it for you,” Samsel reportedly told the student after asking him why he’s about to start crying. The legislator also apologizes to the student before asking a different student: “do you want to check his nuts for him, please?”
In an August Facebook post, Samsel reportedly blamed the incident on “extreme stress, pressure and agitation,” which he said caused him to have “an isolated episode of mania with psychotic features.” He also said that he had surrendered his state-issued substitute teaching license.
Judge Kimball in May ordered the lawmaker to undergo a mental health evaluation, The Associated Press reported. The resulting report remains under seal.
Samsel is also a licensed attorney in the state of Kansas. His status is currently listed as “active.”
“Outside of his law practice, Mark is proud to serve as State Representative for Kansas House District 5. This provides clients with unique insight into the legislative process,” Samsel’s law firm bio says. “Mark finds time whenever he can to support the youth in his area, as well as his alma maters — Missouri Valley College (2007 graduate, B.S., Business Administration & Political Science) and the University of Kansas (2010 graduate, J.D.) — and the Kansas City Chiefs, Sporting KC, and the Kansas City Royals.”
[image via Franklin County Adult Detention Center]
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