OLYMPIA, Wash. - What began as a man's attempt to discipline his child turned into a sordid case of abuse when police say the Washington man forced his 16-year-old daughter to don Renaissance armor and engage in a wooden sword battle for two hours, reports CBS station YELM Seattle
Freemon Everett Seay, 38, wanted to punish his daughter for a recent attempt to run away from home, Sgt. Ken Clark of the Thurston County Sheriff's Office told YELM.
Seay, a Renaissance fair enthusiast, has been arrested for the Oct. 16 beating.
He apparently started by beating the girl with a willow switch before donning armor and forcing her into a two-hour battle between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m.
When the girl 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.
"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," Clark said. "But this goes beyond discipline, and into the realm of abuse."
Thurston County Sheriff's Lt. Greg Elwin says Seay was arrested on suspicion of second-degree assault with a deadly weapon on Sunday. His wife, Julie May Seay, was arrested on suspicion of second-degree assault with a deadly weapon as an accessory. Court papers says she is the young woman's stepmother and works at the Loving and Learning Childcare Center.
Julie Seay 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 said.
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.