A Kansas state legislator was arrested over the weekend, his second arrest in the span of a month, prompting renewed calls for him to resign or be removed from office.
Aaron Coleman, the embattled 21-year-old state representative from Kansas City, was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated by Kansas State Police on Interstate 70 near Lawrence, at around 1 o’clock Saturday morning, The Associated Press reported. He was subsequently detained at the Douglas County Jail, where he was later released after posting bond.
Coleman, a Democrat, was already out on bond for a previous arrest when he was arrested on Saturday. That arrest stemmed from a domestic battery charge on October 30. Police officers alleged in an affidavit at the time that Coleman pushed, hit, and spit on his 18-year-old brother during a fight that broke out between the two after the younger brother said he was going to be baptized. Police said that Coleman was “uncooperative” with officers responding to the scene, and was “extremely erratic” after the fight, the AP reported, citing court documents from the time.
Coleman has faced significant scrutiny since he was elected to the Kansas State Legislature in 2020. Coleman defeated seven-term incumbent State Rep. Stan Frownfelter by just 14 votes in the Democratic Primary, despite admitting before the primary began that he had engaged in revenge porn and cyberbullying young girls while he was in middle school. The Daily Wire reported at the time:
Coleman claimed he shared the nude photo of the girl seven years earlier because she wouldn’t agree to send him more nudes. The girl, now 20 years old, told The New York Times last week that she didn’t know Coleman when he made the threat to release her nude picture and believed he found her picture through Snapchat…
Coleman also did not dispute a report in the Kansas City Star detailing his harassment of girls when he was in middle school. One girl, who is now 18, told the outlet she attempted suicide due to Coleman’s abuse. She said Coleman was constantly “calling me fat, telling me to kill myself, like I’m never going to find anyone, like I’m worthless, just downgrading me every day.” The woman also said she “was just in disbelief that another man that doesn’t respect women is in power.”
A third woman told the Star that Coleman “harassed me for months, it got so bad that he found out my family’s home phone and wouldn’t stop calling it until we picked up.”
Those allegations, coupled with other social media posts mocking Republicans who were infected with and died from COVID-19, as well as his father’s sudden hospitalization, caused Coleman to suspend his campaign briefly, but he reversed course days later and won his election, The Hill reported. Coleman received a reprimand from a state legislative committee over those allegations in February.
Coleman was barred from the offices of the Kansas Department of Labor last month over allegations of “disruptive behavior,” the AP reported. Coleman defended himself, saying he was trying to help his constituents.
Democratic Kansas Governor Laura Kelly and House Democratic Leader Tom Sawyer responded to Coleman’s latest arrest. Kelly said in a statement that Coleman is “not fit to serve” and that his “continued presence in the Legislature is a disservice to his constituents.” Both Kelly and Sawyer told local news outlets, via The Hill, that Coleman should resign and seek “the help he badly needs.”
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