Kansas lawmaker pleads ‘not guilty’ in battery case involving high school student

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TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas Rep. Mark Samsel pleaded not guilty on all counts at his first hearing, after being charged with three counts of misdemeanor battery against a high school student.

Samsel appeared in-person with counsel, Chris Scott.

Franklin county attorney and state prosecutor Brandon Jones was present. The hearing was led by Magistrate Judge Kevin Kimball in Ottawa.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office said Samsel was arrested for misdemeanor battery involving a student. He has since been released on bond. Investigators said Samsel was working as a substitute teacher in the Wellsville School District at the time.

Videos from a student inside the classroom when the alleged incident happened show Samsel ranting at students, talking about sex, suicide and other inappropriate things, even using profanity in front of the students.

Samsel later claimed it was staged.

Samsel was given a copy of the complaint during his appearance, but his counsel, attorney Chris Scott, declined formal reading of the complaint.

“Judge at this point we didn’t allow guilty plea. I would like a chance to request discovery and review that with my client,” Scott said.

Samsel’s second hearing is now scheduled for July 12 at 11:30 a.m. A mental health evaluation was ordered within 21 days.

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