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Victoria tattoo artist arrested, charged with five counts of sexual assault

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A tattoo artist who worked at Carne Tattoo in Victoria has been arrested and charged with five counts of sexual assault after multiple women came forward with allegations against him.

David Hadden, 36, was the subject of multiple sexual assault allegations on an anonymous Instagram platform that surfaced early July but was deleted shortly afterwards.

He was arrested on August 19 by Special Victims Unit (SVU) detectives with the Victoria Police Department as part of an investigation that reopened in July.

See also: Tattoo artists at two Victoria parlours fired after disturbing sexual assault allegations

According to VicPD, a woman who had reported being sexually assaulted by Hadden in 2019 but had not originally pursued a charge recommendation to Crown, decided to follow up again in July 2020.

She did so after learning of multiple sexualized violence allegations against Hadden reported on social media.

Since then, police identified several survivors of sexual assault that took place during tattoo appointments at Carne Tattoo, and were able to recommend multiple sexual assault charges against Hadden.

For their part, Carne Tattoo acknowledged that they were aware of sexual assault complaints against Hadden back in 2019. When further reports surfaced in July through the anonymous Instagram account, they decided to fire the suspect and issue a statement.

A second Victoria tattoo artist, Corey Lyon of Painted Lotus Studios, was also fired after being named as one of the repeat sex offenders on the social media page.

Victoria Police has not confirmed whether Lyon is being investigated, but say there are no charges against him at this time.

“Survivors of sexualized violence have the right to tell their story however they may choose. When a survivor is ready to tell us their story, we’re ready to listen,” said VicPD spokesperson Bowen Osoko in an email to Victoria Buzz.

Crown counsel has approved five counts of sexual assault charges against Hadden, and the investigation remains ongoing.

This means more charges could be forthcoming.

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Brishti Basu
Former Senior Staff Writer and Content Manager at Victoria Buzz.

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