PROVO She never showed indecent pictures to minors, but because she was working at the tattoo parlor when four juveniles saw the pictures she got in trouble.
Shandi Child, 25, a former employee of Happy Valley Tattoo and Piercing in American Fork, pleaded no contest last week in 4th District Court to a class A misdemeanor of indecent public display.
Prosecutors said that a group of teens, ages 14 to 18, came into the shop between October and December of last year and were looking at the one adult-only book, which depicts genital piercings and the piercing process.
The charge was originally a second-degree felony of dealing in harmful material to a minor, but it was later reduced, and Child was allowed to enter a plea in abeyance case. There are no fees or jail time associated with the plea.
That means if Child violates no other laws, the case will be dropped, which is an appropriate resolution, said prosecutor Donna Kelly.
"The state's interest is served by making the statement that this kind of material is not appropriate to display to minors, and what happened in this case was not appropriate," Kelly said. "But also this particular defendant is deserving of a plea-in-abeyance treatment. She has had no criminal history whatsoever and is doing good, positive things in her life."
Kelly said the state didn't want to impose a conviction that would interfere with Child's working toward a nursing degree.
"I'm glad this is all ending," Child said after the hearing. "I'm excited to have my life back."
Defense attorney John Allan explained to Judge Fred Howard that even pleading no contest to the reduced charge was difficult for Child.
He said some of the teens began talking with her, as she was acting as store manager, while the others found the book marked "adult material."
"The reason she has struggled with this is at no time did she offer this material to these kids," Allan said. "She was (just) working at the time."
Child no longer works at the tattoo parlor, but several employees, friends and the owner, Gregory "Doc" Lowrey, came to court to support her.
Before the charges were filed against Child and during a business remodel, Lowrey moved the adult book behind the counter, away from the public.
"Not because we thought they were dangerous," he said, but just because workers wanted to avoid this problem. He said he's upset that his material has now been branded as dangerous.
Lowrey's store policy prevents any minor from getting a piercing or tattoo without a parent's consent. If they come in, the most Lowrey will tell them is the price and he'll tell them to return with a parent.And anyone, whether they're 29 or 89, must show ID to look at the adult-only book or even talk about genital piercings, Lowrey said.