Judge orders mental heath exam for Coleman

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A Johnson County judge on Monday ordered state Rep. Aaron Coleman to undergo a mental health examination after he was charged with domestic battery stemming from an altercation with his brother over the weekend.

Coleman, who did not appear at Monday’s arraignment because he was in the medical unit, will seek diversion at a hearing on Dec. 22. He pleaded not guilty.

He was released on a $1,000 personal recognizance bond. He will reside with his mother and seek mental health treatment.

“We are going to seek help for Mr. Coleman, help him with some of the issues he’s facing,” said the lawmaker’s attorney, David Bell.

He was ordered to obtain a mental health evaluation within 21 days from a mental health provider and follow through with any recommendations.

Meanwhile, late Monday, six female lawmakers renewed their call for Coleman to resign his seat in the Legislature. They have vowed to file a complaint to have him expelled if he does not step down from his position.

Testimony from the roughly five-minute hearing in Johnson County District Court – along with court records – showed that Coleman had an altercation with his brother, Allen Coleman, at his grandparent’s house on Saturday night.

The two witnesses in the case – his brother and grandfather – said they were not in fear of the legislator and wanted to still have contact with him.

“I am not afraid for my safety,” Coleman’s brother told the judge.

The judge ordered that Aaron Coleman have no contact with his brother or grandfather for 72 hours after he was released from jail.

Prosecutors had sought a $1,500 cash surety bond, no contact with the brother and grandfather and a mental health exam before he was released from jail.

Bell had asked for Coleman to seek treatment privately after he was released from jail.

“We can do that privately, judge,” Bell said. “We don’t believe an evaluation before release is required.”

A spokeswoman for the Johnson County district attorney’s office said Coleman had already been released from jail by late Monday afternoon.

On Sunday, a supporter of Coleman’s went on Facebook and shared information that she said was provided by the family about the incident – details which could not be confirmed.

“Aaron was arrested last night over a dispute with his brother,” Susan Stevens posted on Facebook.

“The only reason police were there was because Aaron called them due to thinking his phone had been stolen,” she wrote.

“And the only reason it was classed as domestic violence was that he was visiting at the home of his grandparents. It seems unlikely that any criminal charges will be filed.”

Late Monday, six female lawmakers – Democratic Reps. Stephanie Byers, Linda Featherston, Christina Haswood, Jo Ella Hoye, Mari-Lynn Poskin and Lindsay Vaughn – demanded Coleman’s resignation. They were joined by former Rep. Jennifer Day.

“We are alarmed that an individual remains in a position of power after continued documented accounts of violence,” they said in a join statement.

“This troubling pattern of bullying and intimidation has created an unsafe environment for state employees, legislators, and visitors to the Capitol,” they said.

“Rep. Aaron Coleman must leave office immediately and follow the mental health recommendations of a provider as conditioned by the court.”

The group has threatened to try to have him expelled from the House if he doesn’t resign.

A similar effort was made earlier this year because of his troubled history with young women and girls.

But a special investigative committee opted to only send him a warning letter because his abuse of women occurred before he was elected.