A week after his arrest, Kansas Rep. Mark Samsel says he was asked to leave track meet

·2 min read

Kansas Rep. Mark Samsel was asked to leave a middle school track meet Thursday, the embattled lawmaker said during a speech on the House floor.

Samsel, a Wellsville Republican, was arrested on allegations of battery last week after videos showed him talking about God, sex, suicide and telling students they could kick a fellow classmate “in the balls.” Samsel, who was substitute teaching at the time, is accused of kneeing a student in the crotch.

During a debate Friday over health insurance, the 36-year-old lawmaker said he was asked to leave the Pioneer League track meet “because one or two folks didn’t feel safe with me being there even though I didn’t approach a single kid.”

The Pioneer League includes Wellsville, Burlington and other schools in the area.

In an interview with The Star after the speech, Samsel said the track meet was at the site of the Burlington High School and Middle School and that he was “minding my own business away from the world, just watching the kid who invited me with his mom.”

Samsel said the superintendent, Craig Marshall, told him that he had spoken with the Kansas Association of School Boards and Samsel’s local superintendent in Wellsville.

“And we just think it’d be a better idea if you leave,” Samsel said, recalling what the official told him.

Samsel said he wasn’t “real happy” about being asked to leave. He said him leaving the event wouldn’t provide parents with any comfort.

“They still think I’m some creep living in Wellsville that’s going to do something to kids, which is disgusting. Absolutely disgusting,” Samsel said.

Marshall declined to comment.

The incident comes a week after Samsel’s arrest and release on $1,000 bond. While Samsel kept a low profile when the Legislature reconvened on Monday, he has become more vocal over the past two days, giving speeches during debates over medical marijuana and short term health insurance.

The Star’s Sarah Ritter contributed reporting

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