Skip Navigation

Senate candidate’s estranged wife questioned in custody case

  • The Associated Press
Republican Sean Parnell launched his U.S. Senate campaign on May 11.

Lucy Perkins / WESA

Republican Sean Parnell launched his U.S. Senate campaign on May 11.

Lucy Perkins / WESA

Republican Sean Parnell launched his U.S. Senate campaign on May 11.

(Butler) — The estranged wife of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sean Parnell said Monday during a custody hearing that a judge had rejected her request for a restraining order in 2018 based on her allegations that he had harmed one of their children, a newspaper reported.

In one incident, Laurie Snell accused Parnell of striking one child hard enough through a T-shirt to leave welts. In the other, an angry Parnell punched a closet door, sending it flying into another child’s face, leaving a bruise, she has testified.

But on Monday, under cross-examination in Butler County Court, Snell testified that a judge had rejected her request for a restraining order based on those two allegations, and that she went on vacation with him and their children almost immediately after one of the incidents, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Later, after the closet-door incident, Snell asked Parnell if he wanted to watch the children and told him, “I know you’re a good dad and it’s important that the kids see you,” according to text messages submitted as evidence, the Inquirer reported.

Monday’s cross examination was the first opportunity for Parnell and his lawyer to question Snell after she testified last week that she had endured years of rage and abuse from him, including once being choked until she had to bite him.

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Up Next
Politics & Policy

For Pa.’s statewide candidates, 2021 lessons are in the eye of the beholder