Campbell Co., VA - A 20 year old man could be facing years behind bars because of what Campbell County Deputies are describing as a bizarre and cruel scenario.
According to deputies, 20 year old Alexander Edwards allegedly tattooed two young girls with a home tattoo kit. The two girls, deputies say, are both under 13 years old.
It's the inking that Campbell County Deputies tell us will land 20 year old Alexander Edwards, behind bars.
Edwards, a resident of Franklin County is facing a slew of charges: abduction, malicious wounding, and felony child neglect, all with the potential penalty of more than 20 years in prison.
According to Campbell County deputies, Edwards abducted two young girls, under 13, from family friends. He allegedly tattooed them with a home kit.
"If they're tattooing at home, it's a guarantee that everything is contaminated and nothing's sterile" said Eban Goff.
Goff, a tattoo artist, said home tattoo kits are no joke and can be incredibly dangerous.
"Worst case scenario they get a blood born pathogen like hepatitis or AIDS or a staph infection" he said.
Goff had to get a state tattoo license, certification in CPR, and training in blood-borne illness safety.
"For every individual, we have to apprentice under a professional tattoo artist, and then we have to take a DPOR test through Richmond" said another artist.
It's not easy to become a tattoo artist. Artists are required to log hundreds of hours of practice. And tattoo shops are so highly regulated; they're required to have specific flooring, even certain types of paint to protect patrons.
Artists say though, as long as home kits are available, the risk associated with them, will remain.
"They can buy them so there's really not much you can do about it" said one artist.
As of Wednesday night, deputies had not yet arrested Edwards. They say he is charged, and they're waiting for him to be released from the hospital before taking him in. As for those two young girls, it is unknown if their parents consented to the tattoos.