Women charged in beating of Wisconsin state senator

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Kerida O’Reilly, left, and Samantha Hamer are shown In these two July 27, 2020, booking photos provided by the Dane County (Wisc.) Sheriff’s Office. Prosecutors charged both women Wednesday, July 29, 2020, with battery in connection with an attack on Wisconsin state Sen. Tim Carpenter, during a protest against police racism outside the Wisconsin state Capitol in Madison, on June 23. (Dane County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Prosecutors on Wednesday charged two women, including a high school social worker, with attacking a Wisconsin state senator during a chaotic night of violence outside the state Capitol last month.

Kerida O’Reilly, 33, and Samantha Hamer, 26, were each charged with one count of being a party to substantial battery, a felony punishable by up to $10,000 in fines and three-and-a-half years in prison, online court records show.

Both women were arrested Monday after they turned themselves in to police. They were scheduled to make initial court appearances on Wednesday afternoon. Online court records listed O’Reilly’s attorney as Nathan Otis. He didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment. The state public defender’s office was listed as Hamer’s attorney, but a spokesman said no attorney had been appointed for her yet.

Investigators believe the women attacked Democrat Tim Carpenter during June 23 protest outside the state Capitol, one of a series of protests in downtown Madison that took place after the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The protest that night was sparked by the arrest of a Black man who shouted at downtown restaurant customers through a megaphone while carrying a baseball bat. Protesters also toppled two statues outside the Capitol and threw a Molotov cocktail into a government building.

Paramedics treated Carpenter, but he decided against going to the hospital.

O’Reilly is a physical therapist and Hamer is a social worker with the Mount Horeb School District. She was listed on the district’s website as a resource for high school students and their families who need help dealing with emotional distress and other issues. The district placed Hamer on leave on Monday.

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