KS lawmaker accused of assaulting student


WELLSVILLE, KS (KCTV) — A Kansas state representative has been arrested for misdemeanor battery.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office named 36-year-old Mark Samsel as the arrestee and said deputies made the arrest Thursday following an investigation into an April 28th incident between a substitute teacher and a student.

A release on the matter also noted that Samsel is no longer in custody after posting bond on Thursday.

Samsel has represented Wellsville at the Kansas Statehouse since 2019.

The district’s superintendent would not name Samsel but said there was “an incident involving a substitute teacher” at the high school that was reported by a student to a staff member.

“At that point we immediately began an investigation and, as part of that investigation, contacted the appropriate agencies,” Wellsville School District Superintendent Ryan Bradbury said on Friday.

Bradbury wouldn’t give any further specifics, citing student privacy, employee privacy and the ongoing nature of the law enforcement investigation.

“We want to be transparent but privacy laws prevent us from doing that in this case,” Bradbury said. “But I can say the substitute teacher involved in this incident is not and will not be returning.”

KCTV5 visited Samsel’s home, texted and called his phone to get his response. As of 10 p.m. Friday, he had not replied.

People in the small town have shared strong feelings on Facebook but KCTV5 could find none to comment on camera aside from the superintendent.

“There are going to be situations in every community they have to deal with, and we will pull together and support our students and parents through this process,” Bradbury remarked.

KCTV5 has received cell phone video that has been circulating on social media but has not yet been able to verify its authenticity.

Samsel serves in the Republican Party. Their leadership sent this statement Friday:

“We learned today that Rep. Mark Samsel was involved in an incident and law enforcement was contacted. We are not yet aware of the details, but are in process of gathering as much information as we can.”

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