Tattoo artist in trouble after inking a 14-year old

Reported by: Erik Avanier
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Updated: 4/02/2014 6:35 pm
CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) -  A tattoo artist faces charges after police say he tattooed a 14-year-old boy without consent from the boy's parents.

Police say Joey Williams, 32, of Chattanooga is an unlicensed tattoo artist who allowed a minor to talk him into inking a tattoo. 

WDEF contacted licensed tattoo artist Duffy Dillard who works at Standard Inc. Tattoo in North Chattanooga. Dillard said this type of crime paints a dark cloud over his profession.

"An actual tattoo artist needs to be licensed with the state and regulated by the state in terms of public safety. That's a must," Dillard said.

According to state law, minors must be at least 16-years of age to get a tattoo;and even then they need parental consent to cover up an existing tattoo with ink they may have illegally obtained. The parent or legal guardian must be present during the procedure. The parent must also show proof or guardianship or custody before a tattoo artist begins.

In case, the minor is under the age of 16 and the mother who filed the complaint said Williams did not have her consent. According to the complaint affidavit, the child's mother became outraged because she didn't know about the tattoo until it was too late.

The affidavit also goes on to say that Williams told police he remembered drawing the tattoo on the boy but that the boy told him his mother was sitting outside waiting.

The boy told police he found Williams through his Facebook page. WDEF went on that page only to find countless pictures and videos of Tattoos that Williams claimed to have created.

Experts say unlicensed tattooing that isn't state regulated can lead to many problems.

"It's a public health issue. Without proper sterilization, you can spread diseases and actually become infected yourself in different ways if you're not using the proper protocol," Dillard said.

It's unclear if Williams used proper protocol in terms of sterilization when police say he tattooed a minor. But in the eyes of the law, he didn't use good judgment.

Williams is scheduled to appear in court on April 21.

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