Kansas Representative Mark Samsel has pleaded guilty to three charges of disorderly conduct as part of a deal with prosecutors. After four months of court proceedings, Samsel was given a 90-day suspended jail sentence for kicking a 16-year-old student in the testicles while he was substitute teaching in Wellsville in Kansas City.
Magistrate Judge Kevin Kimball placed Samsel under a year's probation. He was also ordered to make a public apology to the victims, seek mental health treatment, and avoid using social media for personal uses.
Prosecutors initially wanted to charge the lawmaker with three misdemeanor battery charges after he was arrested in April. He was accused of kicking a student in the groin while he was teaching a class about religion, lesbianism, suicide, and masturbation.
Samsel was initially facing a sentence of up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $3,000. However, Samsel had reached a plea agreement with prosecutors, which reduced his sentence if he pleaded guilty to lesser charges.
"Your honor, I just want to say I'm sorry for what happened. I never intended to hurt anybody," Samsel said during the virtual hearing Monday.
Kansas Rep. Mark Samsel must apologize to his victims and avoid personal social media use, but won’t have to go to jail under a plea agreement. https://t.co/sOu31ckdXV — The Kansas City Star (@KCStar) September 13, 2021
During the first few hearings, Samsel had remained defiant and claimed that he had done nothing wrong. He did apologize to the students he had hurt during the class. Last month, Samsel published a post on social media that admitted that he had been seeking mental health treatment. He added that the incident in the classroom was an "isolated episode of mania and psychotic features," which was brought on by "extreme stress."
Apart from the sentence, the Wellsville School District issued a ban on Samsel, barring him from attending any events or stepping onto any school property. He also lost his seat on the Missouri Valley College board of trustees.
According to investigators who interviewed witnesses during the attack, the classroom he was teaching in was apparently chaotic and there were a lot of students misbehaving. Witnesses said Samsel suddenly lost his temper and grabbed one student, who sustained bruises. He then went after another student and kicked him in the testicles.