A Victoria man is facing charges for five counts of sexual assault that reportedly took place during tattoo appointments in the city.
On Aug. 19, David Samuel Hadden, 36, was arrested by detectives with the Victoria Police Department’s Special Victims Unit (SVU) in relation to reports from women who said they were sexually assaulted during tattoo appointments with the male tattoo artist.
UPDATE | A man has been charged with 5 counts of sexual assault as SVU detectives continue their investigation into sexualized violence during #yyj #tattoo appointments. More info: https://t.co/autdDeoivD pic.twitter.com/trgKcgIqjd— Victoria Police (@vicpdcanada) August 20, 2020
According to a written statement by VicPD, the first woman came forward in 2019 to report a sexual assault to SVU detectives but opted not to pursue a charge. In July of this year, the woman returned to follow up about her 2019 report after others began sharing reports of similar experiences with the same tattoo artist on social media. VicPD noted individuals guide the investigation process and this time, SVU detectives were able to investigate.
In the Canadian court system, a complainant is only considered a victim of sexual assault if the charge or charges are proven.
As of Aug. 20, VicPD says several complainants had been identified in relation to a tattoo shop in the 500-block of Johnson Street and the investigation is ongoing.
After his arrest, Hadden was held until he could appear in court where he was then charged with five counts of sexual assault. He has been released with conditions – including that he not tattoo women – and has a court date set.
VicPD emphasized that anyone wishing to report sexual violence to SVU detectives “will be listened to” and “treated with respect.” Reports can also be made only for information. For resources and supports, visit the We Believe You page on the VicPD website.