Man pleads guilty to illegal tattooing

By Gary Scott on December 4, 2014 at 8:38am

A Winchester man avoided jail time Wednesday after pleading guilty to tattooing the body of a minor.

Twenty-one-year-old Brennan Motley entered the plea in Morgan County Court. A sixty-day jail sentence was stayed pending review of a one-year probation period. Motley was also fined $725 and ordered to pay restitution for tattoo removal.

Motley was arrested in August after allegedly tattooing a 13-year-old girl in Jacksonville in July. He refers to himself as the co-founder and owner of T&M Tattooing on his Facebook page.

Morgan County Assistant State’s Attorney Chad Turner says it’s fairly rare to see a case like this in the local court system.

“Most of the places that do this kind of thing for a living, the tattoo parlors if you will, are reputable businesses and they would not engage in this kind of conduct,” says Turner. “However, occasionally you see these amateur tattoo artists that kind of do it from their home or they do it at a friend’s house or what have you, and those are people that are less likely to be very picky about the age of the person involved or anything of that nature.”

Illinois state law forbids anyone under the age of 18 from getting a tattoo.

“When we find out that at a 15 or 16-year-old girl is being tattooed, it’s something we’re going to take seriously. We’re going to make sure that the person knows that they better never do this again and to make sure that they understand that now if it’s a situation where, for example, this young man were to ever do this kind of thing again, the penalties would go up significantly,” he says.

Also in Morgan County Court yesterday afternoon, one of the half-dozen students arrested for “TP-ing” Jacksonville High School reached a plea deal. Eighteen-year-old Coultan Hillis pleaded guilty to theft charges and will serve one year of non-reporting court supervision.

Hillis was also fined $325 and ordered to pay restitution.

Turner says Hillis and six other students were part of an act of vandalism that included breaking into the school’s janitor closet, stealing rolls of toilet paper and unfurling them across the campus.

Turner says the other 18-year-old arrested- Nathan Foote- is expected to reach a similar plea deal. The juveniles that were arrested are expected to serve an “informal probation,” according to Turner.