Volusia Sheriff: DeBary woman charged with child abuse for letting 14-year-old get a tattoo

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Courtesy photo / Jennifer Filippelli, 35, of DeBary, is charged with child abuse and unlawful tattooing for allowing a 14-year-old girl under her care to get a tattoo, according to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.

DEBARY -- Volusia County Sheriff's deputies charged a DeBary woman early this morning with child abuse for allowing a 14-year-old girl in her care to get a tattoo from an unlicensed artist.

The incident, which occurred at the woman's house, was brought to the attention of deputies after an out-of-state relative saw a posting on the teenager's Facebook page about the tattoo and called to ask the Sheriff's Office to check it out," agency spokesman Gary Davidson said.. "When deputies arrived, the girl was in the process of getting a tattoo on her left hip."

Deputies charged 35-year-old Jennifer Filippelli with child abuse. She told deputies that she allowed 32-year-old Jose Lopez of Deltona to come to her house and give her a tattoo first. The teenage girl was in the process of getting a matching tattoo. The tattoo artist also was charged with child abuse and unlawful tattooing.

Lopez, told deputies that he thought it was O.K. to tattoo the girl because he had Filippelli's permission, Davidson said.

However, state law requires written, notarized consent from a parent or guardian in order to tattoo a minor, the Sheriff's spokesman pointed out . The law also mandates that anyone performing tattoos must either be licensed to practice medicine or dentistry or be working under the supervision of someone licensed to practice medicine or dentistry, he added

Both Filippelli and Lopez were transported to the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach.

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.