US couple 'tattooed their children with guitar string'

~Jennifer - posted on 01/04/2010 ( 14 moms have responded )




A man and woman in the US state of Georgia are facing child cruelty charges after using a homemade device to tattoo six of their children.

Patty "Jo Jo" Marsh and Jacob Edward Bartels allegedly used a plastic pen fitted with a piece of guitar string to mark the children, aged 10 to 17.

Unlicensed tattooists and the tattooing of minors are illegal in Georgia.

Ms Marsh told local media she had not done anything wrong and that the children had asked for the tattoos.

"I'm not breaking the skin. It's going to fade away, it's like a pen mark," she told reporters.

The children were marked with small black crosses on the skin between their thumb and index finger. One was also tattooed with the words "Mama & Dad".

Chattooga County Sheriff John Everett said the couple had been reported by the biological mother of some of the children, who noticed the ink marks could not be wiped off.

"We've never seen anything, or heard of anything like this, in the surrounding counties, or anywhere," he told the WHEC news website, adding that police believe the same improvised needle was used for all the children.

Mr Bartels and Ms Marsh were released on bail by police, but Ms Marsh said she could not understand the public's reaction.

"I love my children, we'd never do anything to harm our kids," WHEC quoted her as saying.

My reaction right now is simply WTF, seriously?
Will elaborate when it's not 1 am and I can think clearly.


View replies by

La - posted on 01/07/2010




I wanted tattoos as a kid so my mom let me buy a bunch of fake ones. Jail rock tattoo devices leave horribly gross, indistinguishable marks...unfortunately, people who tattoo themselves with no knowledge of what they are doing tend to place the tattoo too deep in the skin and it makes the design have a "blown out" or "bled out" look which is unlikely to fade.

Charlie - posted on 01/06/2010




Wow thats is incredibly dumb and disgusting .

As for it being semi permanent , its not , i have friends who did similar things to their own bodies as early teens and yes they have faded BUT they are still there , look crappy , faded , blurred , and leaky like prison jobs .

I love tattoos but its a very personal thing to get tattooed and a choice that should be made on the persons own accord in a mature state of mind , i mean shit i bet this woman feeds her kids booze and bongs because they " wanted it " .

What a moron .

Amie - posted on 01/06/2010




Yes it is vastly different Christy. The equivalent to this story would be someone taking a needle and putting it through the kids ear because they wanted a piercing.

A licensed, clean and reputable shop will not tattoo children as it is. In Canada there are no laws governing such a thing but again a reputable shop will require anyone under 18 to have parental consent and the parents must be with them.

These people are seriously beyond comprehension. I would hang anyone that did such a thing to my child. My parents had simple rules for this type of situation. If it is truly something you need and want on your body, then you can wait until you are 18 to get it and pay for it yourself. My brother is the only currently who has tattoos. He had no problem waiting until he was 18 to make the mature decision of what to put on his body that will last the rest of his life. If it truly something that MUST be on your body, then waiting until you are a legal adult should not be that big of a deal.

Christy - posted on 01/05/2010




hm, while i don't think that they should have done it to the kids that weren't both of theirs without first asking permission from the bio-mom, i don't see the big deal here. i get that it's against the law in GA but i had friends whose moms took them for tattoos at 13. this is only semi-permanent anyway, not something they'll have to sport for the rest of their lives. also, it's not like this couple held the kids down kicking and screaming and used it as a form of abuse, the kids asked for them. is this so much different than someone going to a professional beauty supply shop, buying an ear piercing kit and piercing their kids ears? i personally don't think so. i don't think these people should face child abuse charges by any means, though i can understand them having to pay fines for doing something illegal in their state. i really see this as no different as say, dying my kids' hair pink. sure her dad might get PISSED at me but i would not be abusing my child because our opinions of what's acceptable clash...

PS-just to clarify, i wouldn't dye her hair till she's quite a bit older, just in case anyone looked at my pic and thought about yelling at me for dying a baby's hair =)

Iris - posted on 01/05/2010




Didn't paste as I thought it would. But at the top you can press "laws" and then Georgia...

Jaime - posted on 01/05/2010




I agree that it is one should be tattooing a child, let alone a child that belongs to someone else! Aside from my obvious dislike of this situation, I still have to ask...what if the parents (hypothetical coming up here) were licensed tattooists? Would it still be inconceivable that they tattooed their children? It's legally wrong to tattoo without a license...but if they had been licensed, would the law be able to charge them? After all the kids 'wanted' tattoos. Just curious...I don't agree at all with allowing a child that is just too young and naive to understand the repercussions, to be tattooed. I just hope that these kids don't end up with skin infections from the homemade device and I seriously hope that the biological mother kicks some legally AND morally-justified ass!

~Jennifer - posted on 01/05/2010




....the thing that kills me is that the woman being charged isn't the bio- mom of "some" of the children. How the f*ck do you think you have any right to home tattoo another person's child?

I can understand a kid wanting a tattoo.. I have no problem with tattoos (obviously)....


A 10 year old? No friggin way. 16? maybe, but it had better be a pretty damn responsible 16 year old, AND I get final say of what is tattooed AND it's done in a reputable shop / by a licensed, state certified CLEAN environment AND by a professional. ( I would do the same for a 17 year old too....18 - well, I really would have no say if a kid was 18 and wanted one).

They used the same device on all of the kids - they've probably used it on themselves as well.....and who KNOWS 'where' either of them have 'been'.....

I think that if I were the mother of any of the children that this was done to, I'd shave that woman's head and use a hatchet to 'tattoo' a brain on her scalp.

[deleted account]

*sigh* Oh, the South. People like this should be given their own island so the rest of us can start to get past all of those stereotypes about dumbass Southerners...

JL - posted on 01/05/2010




I live in the good ole state of Georgia and I am not surprised that something like that happened here. It is sick but the level of ignorance is not surprising.

While the state does rank significantly high when it comes to numbers of reported child abuse the state does rank low when it comes to education. Georgia has the highest high school drop out rate for its population size and has a high level of poverty. It ranks as one of the top states with a high rate of households suffering from hunger and a crappy economy on average even when the US economy is stable the state is suffering economically.

Georgia also ranks as number 10 in the highest level of teen age pregnancy, but what do you expect when many counties will only allow abstitence only until marriage sex education programs to be taught. Georgia also has a huge problem with teen sex and drug use among teens.

Stupid people should not have children but unfortunately they do and many states in the US need to start raising their educational standards encouraging more kids to stay in school, set up more programs and laws decriminalizing pot and combatting drug abuse through prevention and treatment programs, teach sex educaiton that is about preventing underage pregancy, and ending the cycle of poverty and ignorance by lifting up their economies through diversification...introducing green jobs, focusing on science and technology. Building more prisons and throwing people in jail is just not cutting it anymore.

Heather - posted on 01/05/2010




What is wrong with people? I asked for tattoos as a kid, and I got a sticker, or the kind that you get wet and they stick to you lol I'm so glad my parents didnt give me a prison tattoo when I wanted one.

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