A Victoria tattoo artist is facing five counts of sexual assault after being arrested by police on Wednesday.
Victoria police say David Samuel Hadden, a 36-year-old Victoria man, has been released with a future court date and conditions, including that he not perform tattoo services on any woman.
The arrest comes as police investigate reports of sexualized violence during tattoo appointments in Victoria.
In July, Victoria police began an investigation after a woman came forward to follow up on her 2019 report about a sexual assault that occurred during a tattoo appointment.
Police said at the time, the woman did not choose to pursue a charge recommendation to the Crown. VicPD had tweeted this reasoning, prompting backlash.
Police said after the woman learned of social media reports about continued sexualized violence during tattoo appointments with the same man, the woman followed up with police, leading to further investigation.
According to police, detectives have identified several victims of sexual assaults, which were reported to have occurred during tattoo appointments at a business in the 500-block of Johnson Street.
The investigation is continuing.
The Instagram account, Victims Voices Tattooing Canada, that called out predatory Canadian tattoo artists by publishing anonymous allegations of sexual assault shut down in July.
Victims Voices Tattooing Canada launched on July 4, posting stories and allegations of sexual abuse by tattoo artists from across Canada. The allegations prompted at least one accused artist to stop tattooing and several shops to fire employees, including parlours on Vancouver Island.
Painted Lotus artist Corey Lyon and Hadden of Carne Tattoo were fired after sexual assault allegations against them were made on the Instagram account.
None of the allegations against Lyon and Hadden have been proven in court.
Police said anyone who has been a victim of sexualized or domestic violence can call the VicPD non-emergency line at 250-995-7654.
If, for any reason, you believe your complaint is not being addressed, you can contact the Sergeant in charge of VicPD’s Special Victims Unit directly through the non-emergency line of 250-995-7654.
The Victoria Sexual Assault Centre can be reached, 24-hours, at 250-383-3232.
In cases of spousal assault, the Spousal Assault Victim Services can be reached at 250-356-1201 or other resources at domesticviolencebc.ca or 1-800-563-0808.