Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

'Renaissance Dad' Forced Daughter Into Wooden-Sword Duel

Medieval enthusiast Fremon Seay and his wife Julie were arrested on Sunday after forcing their 16-year-old daughter into a duel.

The Yelm, Wash. couple reportedly felt that an early morning fight was the solution to the girl's disobedience. Fremon allegedly told the unnamed teen to "put on your armor," and then attacked her with a wooden sword.

Her armor--makeshift padding and a helmet--did nothing to prevent bruises all over her body.

The girl had apparently been in trouble Saturday night, reports the Seattle Times. When she arrived home, Fremon Seay allegedly beat her backside with tree branches. He then decided that she was old enough to fight.

During the front-yard beating, Seay's wife Julie reportedly encouraged him to "beat the smirk off her face," according to the Seattle Weekly.

Eventually the teen was able to snap photos of her bruises and text them to a friend. That friend contacted police, who then went to the house.

Both Fremon Seay and his wife Julie have been charged with second degree assault--she has been charged as an accessory.

A wooden-sword duel wouldn't be considered child abuse if done in jest. With proper safety precautions, it can arguably be a fun activity for parents and children alike.

What makes this different is Seay's intentions. He was not out to have fun, but instead to hurt his child. If true, the prior beating demonstrates this fact.

Moreover, he is accused of using the duel as punishment, which means he was brandishing the sword as an actual weapon. Wooden swords swung at high velocities are as dangerous as baseball bats.

Fremon Seay seems to have taken his renaissance fanaticism a bit too far. Wooden swords are for play, not pain.

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