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Dad Acquitted After Branding Kids
One of the more disturbing aspects of body art, as it's moved into the mainstream, is the phenomenon of parents performing body are procedures on their own children. It's one thing to cut your child's own hair, as hair will grow back. However with body art most of these procedures are irreversible.
There have been numerous instances of parents tattooing their own children, and most of these wind up in court following the protest station of the spouse. The latest instance to appear in the news involves a Washington state father who decided he would brand his three children, a move he said would increase the familial bonds. The mother, who was in the process of getting a divorce from the father, was very upset and initiated the court case.
The two boys and one girl were all branded with a branding iron that the father made himself. The mark was the initials "SK" which stood for "Seamands' Kids." At the time of the incident, the sons were ages thirteen and fifteen, and the daughter was eighteen. What triggered the court case where the two minor age boys. It was determined the 18-year-old girl was legally able to give consent and no charges stemmed from the actions the father took in burning the initials onto her leg.
As for the two boys, who were respectively branded on their upper chest and arm, the district attorney was pursuing felony assault charges. The father claimed that having branded livestock when he was a younger man, he knew what he was doing in crafting the brand and burning his children. The father claimed the practice was similar to ear piercing and that any pain was minimal.
The jury had a tricky case to consider. The prosecution argued the procedure was a disfigurement as it leaves a scar and is irreversible. In the end, the jury decided assault charges were not appropriate as both children had made requests to the father to have the procedure done to them and endured it willingly. The father's process resulted in second degree burns and scars.
Sadly it's cases like this that will probably fuel more copycats. Done incorrectly branding can result in infection and unaesthetic scarring. The belief that branding livestock and branding humans are similar is patently false.
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