Kansas lawmaker accused of kicking student pleads guilty

Rep. Mark Samsel of Wellsville says he was under extreme stress at the time.


State News

September 14, 2021 - 11:18 AM

Rep. Mark Samsel, R-Wellsville, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of kicking a high school student when he worked as a substitute teacher last spring in the Wellsville district. Photo by (Pool photo by Evert Nelson/Topeka Capital-Journal)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas legislator accused of kicking a high school student in the testicles pleaded guilty Monday to three lesser misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and was placed on a year’s probation under a deal with the local prosecutor.

Republican Rep. Mark Samsel also agreed not to use social media for personal purposes or have any contact with the high school student who said he was kicked and another student who complained of an interaction with Samsel. The lawmaker also agreed to write letters of apology to both students.

Samsel had faced three misdemeanor criminal charges of battery following what the local prosecutor described as “rude, insulting or angry” interactions with two students, during an April 28 art class at the high school in his hometown of Wellsville. One student told a sheriff’s deputy that Samsel had manhandled him and kicked him, according to an affidavit from the deputy. Both students were identified only by initials in court documents; both were born in 2005, making them 15 or 16. 

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