GOP Senate candidate Sean Parnell testifies he never choked wife, struck children

GOP Senate hopeful Sean Parnell denied under oath on Monday that he ever physically abused his estranged wife Laurie Snell or their children, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer

Snell has accused Parnell of choking her during one encounter and leaving her on the side of the road and telling her to get an abortion during another, as well as physically abusing their children, reports the Inquirer. 

Asked about those claims, and whether he ever got physical with Snell, Parnell responded "never", according to the Inquirer. Parnell told the court, “It just wasn’t a good relationship."

Snell and Parnell are in the midst of a custody battle for their three children, and the allegations of abuse have rocked Pennsylvania's Republican primary for the seat opened by Sen. Pat ToomeyGOP Senate candidate Sean Parnell testifies he never choked wife, struck childrenPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyBlack women look to build upon gains in coming elections Watch live: GOP senators present new infrastructure proposal Sasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote MORE's (R) decision to retire.

Parnell was seen as a front-runner for the GOP nomination after securing the endorsement of former President TrumpGOP Senate candidate Sean Parnell testifies he never choked wife, struck childrenDonald TrumpMeat industry groups pledge to meet Paris Agreement emissions targets by 2030 Judge tosses part of DC AG's suit against Trump inaugural committee Rep. Gosar posts anime video showing him striking Biden, Ocasio-Cortez MORE in September. 

Snell's allegations were also made under oath during a hearing last week

Parnell's attorney pointed out during Monday's hearing that Snell did not mention the alleged abuse in previous court filings, reports the Inquirer. 

The hearing was Parnell's first opportunity in court to rebut his estranged wife's tearful accusations that he pinned her down and screamed at her that she was a "whore" and a "piece of shit", reported the Inquirer.

Snell alleged that Parnell slapped one of their children so hard that it left fingerprint marks on their child's back through their shirt, and once punched a closet door so hard it swung open and hit their child's face, leaving a bruise, reports the Inquirer. 

Parnell testified that the incident with the door was "made up" and the child accidentally bumped their head on the door. “Laurie wasn’t even there,” Parnell said, according to The Associated Press

Snell also testified that on Thanksgiving Day in 2008, Parnell pushed her from their vehicle, left her on the side of the road, and told her to get an abortion.

In a statement last week, Parnell said he “never raised a hand in anger towards my wife or any of our three children” and would “set the record straight” in court.