A Central Texas mother was arrested this week after she allegedly allowed a registered sex offender to tattoo her three young children, all of whom are 13-years-old and under.
Ashley Nikole Weir, a 31-year-old mother of three, was arrested early this week when her 13-year-old son reportedly called his father asking for him and his two siblings to be picked up at the mother’s house, according to an arrest affidavit. The son told his father that he and his sisters had a “surprise for him and that he might not like it,” reports the Washington Post. The surprise turned out to be tattoos on all three children, ages 13, 10, and 9, that their mother had consented to.
When the father arrived at the home of the mother to collect his three children, he found that all three had fresh tattoos — the 13-year-old son had a cross on his right ankle, the 10-year-old daughter had an infinity symbol and a cross on her left ankle, and the youngest, a 9-year-old girl, had a heart with an arrow tattooed on her right ankle. The father also told officers he found the children unsupervised, and their mother “passed out drunk” in bed, and asked that authorities perform a welfare check on the mother.
When the authorities arrived at the mother’s house, they found that the door had already been cracked open. The intoxicated mother was allegedly lying in bed and didn’t respond to “several announcements” made by the officers. Eventually, the mother of three woke up and granted officers entrance to the home, but was visibly drunk, according to the arrest affidavit. She was arrested soon after.
“Ashley was intoxicated. She had an odor of alcohol emitting from on or about her person. She wobbled, swayed and was unsure on her feet while walking.”
The affidavit also says that two men were in the house with Weir and the children earlier in the day — 23-year-old Dalton Popham, the mother’s boyfriend; and Dalton’s brother, 21-year-old Dakota Popham, a registered sex offender. When the oldest son spoke with police, he told officers that Dakota had wanted to give the children tattoos and that their mother had agreed.
“The children stated Ashley told them to get the tattoos, but not to cry or whine about it when it hurts.”
When she spoke with police prior to being arrested, the mother told officers that she had given her consent for the children to receive the tattoos. She refused to name the amateur tattoo artist, but did admit that the Popham brothers were the only other adults in her home at the time. The children named Dakota as the one who inked them.
The immoral and unconscionable implications that go along with tattooing minors aside, the act is also a Class A Misdemeanor in the state of Texas and carries a sentence of up to one year in jail and/or a $4,000 fine per count. Thirty-one-year-old mother of three Ashley Weir, who is currently being held on $15,000 bond in Travis County Jail, was arrested for, and is being charged with three counts of tattoos prohibited for certain persons. She faces up to three years in prison, according to San Antonio Express-News.
Though no news has been released on whether he will be arrested for his part in tattooing the children, it wouldn’t be Dakota Popham’s first time being arrested. The 21-year-old is registered in the Texas Department of Public Safety’s sex offender registry for crimes involving children. He was arrested and convicted in 2012 of exposing himself to a 13-year-old girl, and again in 2013 for sexual conduct involving a 12-year-old girl.
The mother has also previously been arrested on charges of driving while intoxicated, public intoxication, resisting arrest, and driving with an invalid license.
[Image via Travis County Sheriff’s Office]