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Republican convicted for kicking child in the crotch during homophobic rant

Emma Powys Maurice September 15, 2021
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Republican representative Kansas Mark Samsel

Republican representative for Kansas Mark Samsel was arrested on charges of misdemeanour battery after a physical altercation with a student. (Screenshots from YouTube/KSNT News/Kansas City Star)

Kansas representative Mark Samsel was sentenced to 12 months probation and forced to apologise to a child he kicked in the crotch during a homophobic rant in a classroom.

On Monday (13 September) Mark Samsel pled guilty to three lesser misdemeanour charges of disorderly conduct following an incident at Wellsville School District in April.

While working as a substitute teacher at the school the Republican was caught on camera screaming about same-sex parents, suicide, masturbation, God, and “making babies”.

The footage, which was shared with the Kansas City Star, shows him telling students about a “sophomore who’s tried killing himself three times”, saying it was because the teen has “two parents, and they’re both females”.

“His alternatives in life were having no parents or foster care parents who are gay. How do you think I’m going to feel if he commits suicide? Awful,” he said.

At one point he chased a male student around the classroom, grabbed the child from behind, and, according to witnesses, kicked him in the groin before asking: “Did it hurt?”

He also allegedly encouraged other students to do the same by saying “you have permission to kick him in the balls”.

According to the deputy’s affidavit, Samsel claimed he only “demonstrated a kick” for one boy who had disrupted the class, but said he did not kick him. The deputy also wrote that Samsel said God told him to do what he did.

The lawmaker later attempted to explain the shocking outburst a now-deleted Facebook post, saying that “extreme” stress caused him to have “an isolated episode of mania with psychotic features” in a classroom.

He disclosed that he was undergoing mental health treatment and had surrendered his state substitute teacher’s license.

Franklin County magistrate judge Kevin Kimball sentenced Mark Samsel to serve a total of 90 days in jail on three disorderly conduct charges, but suspended that sentence in favour of probation.

He also ordered Samsel to pay $263 in costs associated with his arrest and court case, and to submit letters of apology to his victims.

He is prohibited from using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms for personal use, with an exception to allow social media for political and legislative purposes.

“Mr Samsel is very sorry for his actions, loves his community, and looks forward to moving on from this incident and continuing to represent his district in the Kansas Legislature,” his attorney, Christopher Scott, told reporters.

During the hearing Samsel apologised for his actions, telling the judge: “Your honour, I just want to say I’m sorry for what happened. I never intended to hurt anybody.”

Related topics: Homophobia, Republicans

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