Sean Parnell's 'fictional' novel is not so fictional after all

Sean Parnell's 'fictional' novel is not so fictional after all
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Pennsylvania GOP Senate candidate Sean Parnell wrote a fiction thriller in 2018 that coincidentally included scenes where women were violently abused, strangled, pinned down, and called "whore"—all things his estranged wife said she endured at the hands of Parnell in sworn testimony earlier this week in a custody hearing regarding their three children.

Parnell has the blessing of Donald Trump in his campaign for the Keystone State Senate seat left open by the retirement of GOP Sen. Pat Toomey. But Parnell's candidacy has been rocked in recent months as his personal history of alleged abuse comes into clearer focus. His estranged wife testified that Parnell also slapped one of their children so hard it left welts on the child's skin.

Details of Parnell's book, Man of War, are just one more piece of the puzzle. And given the testimony of his estranged wife, the book seems far more biographical than fictional. According to Politico, Parnell, who is an Army combat vet, "portrays multiple scenes of men assaulting women in the 2018 novel, the first of four in a fiction series."

The abusive behavior in the book includes scenes of women being hit, pulled by their hair, and dragged across the floor. Some male characters also relish the pain they are inflicting on their female victims. Politico writes of one scene:

"Nate grabbed a handful of Meg's hair and roughly forced her head around," Parnell wrote of a female CIA agent being beaten by a rogue military official who "savored the grimace of pain that flitted across her face and the fear that sparked in her eyes."

"When she tried to jerk free, he struck a blade against her cheek and smiled at the involuntary flinch caused by the cold steel touching warm flesh," the book says.

The CIA agent was eventually strangled, zip-tied, and punched. She was also dismissed by Parnell as someone her male counterparts objectified and "just wanted to fuck."

Parnell included another graphic scene in which crying children witness their mother being gang raped by three men, one of them with a "toothy grin spread across his face."

Parnell's real-life estranged wife provided tearful testimony Monday in which she described being strangled, choked, verbally assaulted, and even forced out of the car by Parnell and left on the side of the road.

"He tried to choke me out on a couch and I literally had to bite him," she said in one instance. "He was strangling me."

She also described the whole family—including their children—being "petrified" of Parnell and "walking on eggshells" whenever he was in the home.

Male candidates with allegedly abusive histories is becoming the norm for the GOP, not the exception, heading into the midterms next year.

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