Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Did You Know? Tattooing Your Kids is Illegal

Victor Shane Scoggins, 40.

A South Carolina dad is in hot water after allegedly tattooing his 14-year-old daughter. Victor Shane Scoggins of Richland County is charged with child neglect, which is odd because it seems Scoggins was anything but neglectful when he allegedly inked a Browning Firearms logo and the words “Daddy’s Girl” on his daughter’s wrist. The girl has been sporting her father’s gift of body art since October, but the arrest only came this week, after a witness spotted the tats and alerted authorities. Scoggins is also charged with tattooing a minor and tattooing without a certificate.

Scoggins isn’t the only one who’s had the urge to ink his kin. Just up the road in North Carolina, 30-year-old mom Odessa Clay was charged in October with tattooing her 11-year-old daughter. When asked, Clay reportedly said she didn’t know tattooing your child was illegal, and that her daughter asked her to do it. Clay believes a former in-law reported the small heart-shaped tattoo out of vengeance.

The Browning deer logo, which kind of looks like a guy in a hoodie on fire.

And in December of 2009, once again in the great American Southeast,¬†Patty Jo Marsh and Jacob Bartels were arrested after allegedly giving six of their kids, aged 10 to 17, homemade tattoos. Using a cleaned-up old tattoo machine with a guitar string as the needle, the pair tattooed small crosses on five of the kids and the words “mom and dad” on the sixth. The youngest child, seven years old, did not get inked.¬†Georgia authorities were alerted to the underage tattoos when the biological mother of two of the kids, who had them over the Christmas holidays, noticed the body art and was not pleased. Marsh and Bartels, who maintained that they had done nothing wrong and that the children wanted the tattoos, were arrested and charged with cruelty to children, reckless conduct and illegal tattooing. Unbeknownst to the couple, tattooing without a license and tattooing children under the age of 18 are both crimes in the state of Georgia.

Slideshow: Bad Parenting

Slideshow: Prison Tattoo Field Guide


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