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Lawmaker in Kansas charged with battery called actions 'God's plan'

Mark Samsel
Posted at 10:04 AM, May 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-25 13:08:01-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Court documents released Tuesday detail the circumstances behind the arrest and charges of a Kansas state representative involved in an altercation with a student at a school.

Rep. Mark Samsel of Wellsville was charged with three counts of misdemeanor battery stemming from alleged behavior toward students while substitute teaching on April 28.

Samsel pleaded not guilty to the charges on May 19.

A redacted affidavit was released Tuesday that detailed the day's events from both students' and Samsel's accounts given to law enforcement.

In the report, students recounted how Samsel was ranting about God and the devil and suicide while substitute teaching and that it made them uncomfortable.

A male student said that Samsel shoved him against a wall and kicked the student in the testicles.

The law enforcement officer who took the report noted a sort of "road rash" and a cut on the student's back and shoulders.

A female student took a video of the incident and was also interviewed by law enforcement. She stated Samsel, at one point, placed his hands on her shoulders and asked her if she had "mental problems" or was suicidal, making her uncomfortable.

In the affidavit, Samsel acknowledged getting physical with the male student but said he did not shove him hard against the wall and did not make the kicking action hard enough to injure the student.

In the interview with detectives, Samsel said the male student embellished his injuries.

"If you've seen any soccer games recently, especially our international friends, take a foul and drop to the floor," Samsel is quoted as saying to the detective. "He embellished the heck out of it."

He also said that God told him to do those things and that it was "God's plan."

"Even though I didn't want to do any of the things I did right there, and this is what's going to end me up in a manic hospital probably because it has all the appearances of a psychotic episode or manic episode..." Samsel said to investigators about the incident. "I had a crystal-clear moment, and I swear to God and the camera that God said, 'Yes,' this is what I was supposed to do."

"The whole world is telling me not to do it," Samsel said to investigators. "God said, 'Yes.'"

Samsel said that the incident stemmed from the male student's classroom behavior and repeatedly threatened to call the school principal but did not carry through because the phone was across the room.

Katelyn Brown with KSHB first reported this story.