Possible ‘plea’ date set for Kansas lawmaker after misdemeanor charges involving student


In this photo from Monday, May 3, 2021, Kansas state Rep. Mark Samsel, R-Wellsville, talks on his cellphone ahead of the House’s daily session, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Samsel has surrendered his substitute teacher’s license and says he has been seeing mental health professionals after being charged with three counts of battery over interactions with two Wellsville High School students while teaching an April 28, 2021, art class. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

OTTAWA, Kan. — A ‘possible plea’ date has been set in the case for Kansas Rep. Mark Samsel, who appeared in a virtual court hearing on Monday morning in Franklin District Court.

The Franklin County Sheriff`s Office arrested Samsel for a misdemeanor battery involving a student in the Wellsville School District earlier this year. Samsel was working as a substitute teacher at the time.

Samsel’s attorney Chris Scott said the defendant was ‘close to a plea’ on Monday.

“I think we could get a plea sensing date. There’s just a few things we’re ironing out. But I think we’re close,” Scott said.

A Sept. 13 virtual hearing date was set. Representing the state, Brandon Jones, asked whether victims would also be able to provide testimony as well, which was approved.

This comes after Samsel appeared in court last week, Aug. 16, after being charged with three counts of misdemeanor battery against a high school student in late April. A new status hearing was held Monday.

Samsel’s attorney Chris Scott offered a proposal to the state with a possible plea offer, in the last hearing. Jones asked the judge for an opportunity to speak with the victims before a decision is made.

The Kansas representative entered a not guilty plea on May 19.

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