LOGAN — A 31-year-old tattoo artist charged with allegedly sexually assaulting a female customer, while giving her a tattoo, is heading to trial. Douglas S. Chavez was arrested in February and booked into the Cache County Jail temporarily.
According to court staff, Chavez was in 1st District Court Monday morning. He was previously charged with one count of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony.
Public defender Joe Saxton asked for the two-day jury trial after previous efforts to work out a plea deal failed.
Judge Brandon Maynard scheduled the trial to begin Nov. 4. He ordered Chavez to appear for a final pretrial conference Oct. 18.
According to an arrest report, Cache County sheriff’s deputies received a complaint Feb. 8 about the possible sexual offense. The alleged victim claimed Chavez touched her inappropriately while performing the tattoo work.
The woman explained that the tattoo was to go over the center of her spine and end around her mid-back. While doing the work, Chavez reportedly pulled her pants down, rubbed her buttocks and moved his hand forward, towards her groin.
She said it was previously agreed upon that the tattoo would end several inches above her waistline and that he never asked permission to remove her pants or touch her.
The woman told deputies, Chavez stated he was looking to see how far down the tattoo could go, when she asked him what he was doing. She also showed them text messages, where the suspect later apologized for his actions, stating that he went a little too far.
Deputies made contact with Chavez at The Werx Tattoo Studio Feb. 11. He refused to answer any questions and requested an attorney, before being taken into custody.
Chavez reportedly didn’t speak during Monday’s hearing. He is currently out of jail on pretrial supervision and could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
Individuals arrested and charged in complaints are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in court.