YELM, Wash. (CBS Seattle) — What began as a man’s attempt to discipline his child turned into a sordid case of abuse when police say a Washington man forced his 16-year-old daughter to don Renaissance armor and engage in a wooden sword battle for two hours.
Freemon Everett Seay, 38, and his daughter were fighting on Oct. 16 over her recent attempt to run away from home, an action he wanted to punish her for, Sgt. Ken Clark of the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office told CBS Seattle.
“He started with switches off a tree. In Washington state, it’s all about reasonable action … (and) you can (legally) give a kid a spanking,” he said. “But this goes beyond discipline, and into the realm of abuse.”
Before beginning the fight, Seay put on armor and brandished a weapon, which he repeatedly used on the child.
Authorities say he forced his daughter to duel with him from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. When she was reportedly no longer able to stand on her own, he relented. But his daughter quickly took action, texting pictures of her bruises and injuries to friends, who promptly alerted the authorities.
By that afternoon, Seay and his wife were in police custody.
Julie Seay, the child’s stepmother, was not actively involved in the abuse, according to the police report. However, she was aware of what was happening, and allegedly made no motion to protect the child in any way.
“She had a responsibility to defend her stepdaughter,” Clark added.
The case is still in its early stages, and in the state of Washington, the prosecutor’s office decides whether or not to press charges and continue with a trial. It remains to be seen whether the Seays will be brought up on charges.
Seay was released on bail Oct. 18.