Criminal case leads Kansas lawmaker to step down for week

TOPEKA, Kansas – A 21-year-old Kansas lawmaker charged with domestic assault and battery over unrest involving his brother said Thursday he was stepping down from his legislative office for a week.

First-year Democratic State Representative Aaron Coleman of Kansas City tweeted he was taking “leave of absence” following an order from a Johnson County district judge on Monday requiring him to undergo a mental health assessment. Coleman said he was required to “admit himself to a mental health facility.”

Coleman did not immediately respond to text messages, emails and cell phone messages for further details. His tweet called the lawsuits against him “frivolous” and a lawyer pleaded not guilty on his behalf on Monday.

A House committee reprimanded him in February for allegations of abuse of girls and young women before taking office. Coleman had acknowledged some behavior on social media and said he was a troubled teenager.

He was also banned last month from the Kansas Department of Labor offices for allegations of disruptive behavior. Coleman said he was trying to help voters.

The misdemeanor battery charge against Coleman stems from an incident Saturday night at his grandfather’s house. His grandmother said the dispute with his brother was over “religious beliefs” and Coleman also accused his brother of stealing his phone.

Some House Democrats, including their leader, have called on Coleman to step down.

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Follow John Hanna on Twitter: https://twitter.com/apjdhanna

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