According to court testimony, Eugene Ashley, 26, was arrested in 2009 after the Department of Family and Children Services made a home visit and saw the letters “DB” tattooed on the child’s shoulder.
It is illegal in Georgia to tattoo a child younger than 18.
The boy was three at the time, but District Attorney Leigh Patterson said the tattooing had occurred a year prior.
Ashley told police at the time of his arrest that “DB” stood for “Daddy’s Boy.”
Patterson called the crime egregious and said the child told DFCS the tattoo hurt. But she also said it would have been impossible to go to a jury with the case because of the victim’s age.
“I don’t know if we would be able to elicit a testimony from a child,” Patterson said.
Ashley’s arrest made national headlines two years ago and sparked debate and lit up the blogosphere as one blogger compared tattooing to ear piercing or circumcision.
Judge Tami Colston, who heard the case Monday, still had questions about the statute that makes tattooing a child illegal.
“I am trying to figure out why this is illegal,” she questioned in the courtroom. “Is it illegal to pierce your little girl’s ears?”
The state statute created in 1981 does not make it illegal to pierce a child’s ears, Patterson said.