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More possible victims of tattoo artist accused of molestation sought

January 17, 2013 |  8:41 am

Authorities were looking Thursday for more possible victims of a Mission Viejo tattoo artist arrested for allegedly molesting two teenage girls after giving them free tattoos and alcohol in his apartment, deputies said.

Edder Giovani Nieves-Vera, 29, met one of the 14-year-olds through Facebook and promised to give her a tattoo, alcohol and drugs, said Jim Amormino, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

In December, authorities believe the girl and a 14-year-old friend went to the man’s apartment, where he supplied them with alcohol and gave them tattoos.

He is suspected of making “sexual advances” toward the teenagers and engaging in “highly inappropriate conduct,” Amormino told the Times.

The girls told authorities, who then posed as one of the 14-year-olds by chatting with him on Facebook, said Gail Krause, a spokeswoman with the Sheriff’s Department.

Nieves-Vera allegedly said he wanted to meet the girl Tuesday at Dana Point Harbor, then take her to his apartment to finish the tattoo and enjoy his Jacuzzi. Instead, Nieves-Vera was met by investigators and taken into custody.

Several years ago, he was deported after serving three years in state prison in connection with a 2004 arrest in a child annoyance case in Riverside County. Investigators do not know when Nieves-Vera re-entered the United States.

The Sheriff’s Department, along with several other agencies, including the Orange County district attorney’s office, the FBI and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, investigated the case.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department at (714) 647-7000. Anonymous tippers may call OC Crime Stoppers at (855) TIP-OCCS.

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-- Robert J. Lopez and Nicole Santa Cruz

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