A Georgia mom was arrested after her 12-year-old daughter was spotted with a religious tattoo.
The girl's mother, 35-year-old Emmie Nolan, was taken into custody and charged with a misdemeanor count of being a party to a crime after a teacher noticed the fifth-grader's ink when she wore a strapless dress to a school dance in March, reports WXIA. The teacher who saw the marking called police.
"It's difficult to imagine how as a parent you think it's appropriate to supervise or allow someone to give your child a tattoo at that age," said Coweta County Sheriff's Office Lt. Jason Fetner, according to WXIA.
The girl told officials a few different stories when questioned about the tattoo's origins. At first, she said that her father forced her to get it, explaining that her mother got in a huge fight with her father when she first saw it.
Later, though, she said that her father treated her just fine and never pushed her toward getting it. In fact, she said that she was the one who wanted it.
The father said that the pre-teen got the tattoo at a Super Bowl party and that he had nothing to do with it.
Meanwhile, the mother said that she had nothing to do with the ink. Investigators believe that she instructed her daughter to lie about it.
"Each of the parents had a different story and it boiled down to frankly just finger pointing," said Fetner.
The tattoo is a blue-green cross with the words "Jesus Loves" on it, and it sits on the back of the girl's shoulder.
"I think it's unfortunate in that the child actually wanted to get the tattoo," said Fetner. "It's not like the child was forced to get the tattoo, I think it just comes down to bad parenting."
The girl is now living with relatives while Georgia's Division of Family and Children's Services investigates.
Officers traced the illegal ink back to tattoo artist Brenda Gaddy, whom Fetner said was caught on video tattooing "a number of minors" at the party. Gaddy was charged with tattooing a person under the age of 18.
The artist at first denied the allegations, but then said that she did tattoo the girl and that her mother was in attendance and gave her consent, notes The Newnan Times-Herald.
"She said she was under the impression that the victim was a minor but didn't realize she was only 12 years old," said Fetner, according to The Times-Herald.