- The Washington Times - Monday, November 1, 2021

The estranged wife of Republican Senate candidate Sean Parnell testified Monday in a child-custody hearing in Pennsylvania that he choked her, hit their children and verbally abused her, according to a report.

Laurie Parnell said Mr. Parnell, endorsed by former President Donald Trump in the GOP primary, called her a “whore” while pinning her down, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

She also told a Butler County judge that he once angrily forced her out of their vehicle along a road and told her to “go get an abortion.”

Mr. Parnell, who will testify next week in the divorce and custody proceeding, said through his campaign that his wife isn’t telling the truth.

“Let me empathically state: I have never raised a hand in anger towards my wife or any of our three children,” the statement said. “What happened today in court was not justice, nor did it have any basis in fact or truth. Next week, I’ll have an opportunity to present the truth to the court and I look forward to that opportunity.”

The Parnells are battling over custody of their three school-age children. Mr. Parnell is a decorated Army veteran of the war in Afghanistan, whose wife says he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

He tried to choke me out on a couch and I literally had to bite him” to escape, Mrs. Parnell testified, according to the Inquirer. “He was strangling me.”

Mr. Parnell is running for the seat being vacated by Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, who is retiring next year.

The issue of spousal abuse was first raised by a Republican rival, Jeff Bartos, after Mr. Parnell received Mr. Trump’s endorsement this fall.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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