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Man on trial for branding own children

SEATTLE, May 12 (UPI) -- A Washington man is on trial for assault for allegedly branding his children like ranch cattle and permanently scarring them, authorities said.

Mark Seamands is accused of branding his three children, an 18-year-old daughter and sons ages 15 and 13, with the mark "SK" for "Seamands' Kids," KIRO-TV, Seattle, reported Wednesday.

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He faces two assault charges for branding his sons. No charge was filed in the branding of the daughter because she was old enough to give consent, KIRO said.

Seamands' ex-wife testified she was horrified when she saw the brands on her children.

"My youngest boy, it's on his chest. My middle boy, it's on his arm, and my daughter -- it's on the back of her leg," Alison Davis said.

The two sons, reportedly proud of their brands, are expected to testify for their father and say he did nothing wrong, KIRO reported.

Prosecutors and their mother reject that idea.

"I think it's child abuse in every way shape and form," Alison Davis said.

"I don't know if you have seen an animal being branded, but I have," Davis said. "They squeal; they yell; they scream. It's nothing pretty."

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