Kansas lawmaker agrees to advise to avoid battery charging

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A 21-year-old Kansas lawmaker has agreed to undergo mental health counseling and a domestic violence assessment to avoid being charged with misdemeanor domestic battery for a fight with his younger brother.

Freshman Democratic Rep. Aaron Coleman of Kansas City also agreed in Johnson County to submit to drug or alcohol testing if asked by authorities. Coleman signed the diversion agreement with the district attorney’s office last week, and it was filed in district court on Monday.

Coleman has been embroiled in controversy since running for Kansas House in 2020 and acknowledging past abuses against girls and young women that led to a legislative committee reprimanding him in writing. As well as the Johnson County charge, he also faced two trafficking charges in neighboring Douglas County, although online court records indicate the case was resolved last month.

The home battery charge stems from an incident on October 30. Coleman was accused in court papers of pushing, hitting and spitting on his 18-year-old brother in a brawl over the brother’s baptism.

The deal lasts for a year and requires Coleman to undergo mental health counseling throughout that time. He must also undergo a domestic violence assessment within a month and, if asked for anger management counseling, complete it within six months. He must pay $294.50 in legal fees and costs.

Coleman’s attorney did not return a phone message Thursday seeking comment, and Coleman did not immediately respond to a text message.

In Douglas County, Coleman was charged with speeding on Interstate 70 and failing to yield to an emergency vehicle after being arrested Nov. 27 in Lawrence. Court records show he pleaded no contest on February 18 for not giving in and the speeding charge was dismissed. The records did not detail his punishment.

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

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