Sean Parnell, a Republican running for Senate in Pennsylvania, is denying his estranged wife’s abuse claims that he hit her and their three children. The Senate hopeful appeared in custody court on Monday and said his wife is making it all up.

Parnell’s appearance in court marked the first time that he could directly counter his wife’s statements. Laurie Snell testified for two and half hours on Nov. 1. During Parnell’s testimony he said, “We had a tumultuous relationship. We fought a lot. We were on again, off again from the time that we met.” He never mentioned abuse during his statement.

Sean Parnell, who is running for a Senate seat in PA, has denied claims by his wife that he abused her and their children. (Credit: Instagram)
Sean Parnell, who is running for a Senate seat in PA, has denied claims by his wife that he abused her and their children. (Credit: Instagram)

Both Parnell and Snell are fighting for full custody of their children, ages 12, 11, and 8.

The couple started dating in 2008, and were together until 2018. Laurie Snell said that Parnell showed signs of rage early in their relationship and by the time they were married that rage turned into abuse. She decided to leave her husband in 2018 after he started to hit their children.

Snell claimed that during their relationship, Sean Parnell yelled, screamed, locked her in rooms and hit her along with their three children. In one incident, Snell said that her husband choked her so hard that the only way to get him to stop was for her to bite his arm.

“He would pin me down by my thighs, and he would scream at me — everything from being a piece of [expletive[ to [telling me] I’m crazy,” Snell said.

Parnell denied all of these allegations including one where he allegedly hit a door so hard that it hit one of his children in the face. He said that his son had hurt himself on the door by accident and Parnell comforted him.

The Senate hopeful is also being accused of hitting one of his children so hard that it left a welt. He claims that photos showing a young child with a bruise were not pictures of his kid. Snell claims that she took the picture, which was put into evidence on Monday, and said after that incident she wanted to call the police, but Parnell said it would ruin his public image.

“As I would parent, he would tell them not to listen to me,” she said. “He would just rage at them. He would scream and scream, and you couldn’t stop him. It was constant.”

Parnell wrote on his Facebook page after Snell’s testimony: “In court the mother of my children made a number of false allegations against me. Those allegations are lies. There is no truth to them, not one. They are complete fabrications; not distortions or misrepresentations – just flat-out lies. The truth is I love my family and I love my children more than anything.”

Parnell’s attorney, Kristen Batson Eberle, agreed with her client and said to the court that Laurie Snell had never mentioned allegations of abuse during her custody battle filings or anytime during her marriage. The attorney also said that around the times of those alleged violent episodes, Snell also praised Parnell for being a good father and told him that she would support him when he ran for Congress in 2020 as long as he kept on paying the mortgage.

Laurie Snell agreed that she did those things and said: “This was a touchy time, but yes, that’s what I said.” Parnell’s estranged wife also said in court that her husband was a good father in public as long as he wasn’t angry.

Snell claims that her husband’s anger and abuse came from PTSD that he developed during a tour in Afghanistan.

Despite the custody battle and abuse allegations, Sean Parnell is still running for the Senate seat and has continued to stay on the good side of the Republican party.

He recently got the approval of former President Donald Trump, which many think is a good step for being elected by supporters of the party. If elected, Parnell would fill the spot of Republican Senator Pat Toomey, who is not running for re-election.