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Tattoo Artist Accused of Preying on Teen Girls to Be Arraigned

A Mission Viejo tattoo artist arrested in Dana Point for allegedly trying to hook up with a 14-year-old girl is scheduled to answer to charges in court.

A Mission Viejo tattoo artist arrested in Dana Point for allegedly meeting a teenage girl for sex is schedule for arraignment Friday.

Edder Giovani Nieves-Vera, 29, is expected to answer to charges that he molested a 14-year-old girl, attempted to meet a minor to commit lewd conduct and luring a child to commit a crime, all felonies, according to court records.

Orange County sheriff's investigators suspect he may have three or more victims.

Nieves-Vera was arrested in January at the Dana Point Harbor by the Orange County Child Exploitation Task Force, which consists of federal and Orange County law enforcement personnel.

He was initially accused of molesting two 14-year-old girls, but he has so far been charged only with one victim, according to prosecutors.

Now sheriff's investigators suspect there is a third victim and could be more, Jim Amormino of the Orange County Sheriff's Department has said.

On Dec. 21, the parents of a 14-year-old girl reported to Orange County deputies that a man contacted their daughter on Facebook, offering her a free tattoo, drugs and alcohol, Amormino said.

The girl and her friend, also 14, met with Nieves-Vera on Dec. 15 at his home in Mission Viejo, where he offered them drugs and gave them alcohol and tattoos, Amormino said.

“He engaged in highly inappropriate conduct, including sexual advances,” Amormino said.

Nieves-Vera was arrested by Murrieta police in 2004 for child annoyance and having false identifying documents, Amormino said.

In that case he drove up to a 14-year-old girl walking to school, offering to give her a ride, touch her and take her photo, Amormino said.

Nieves-Vera was sentenced to three years in prison in that case and then was deported, Amormino said.

On Jan. 11, investigators started chatting with Nieves-Vera online, with agents pretending to be the 14-year-old girl, Amormino said. When Nieves-Vera showed up for a meeting at the Dana Point Harbor with the girl to finish her tattoo, investigators were waiting with handcuffs, Amormino said.

Anyone with information relevant to the case was asked to call sheriff's investigators at (714) 647-7000, or the Orange County Crime Stoppers organization at (855) TIP-OCCS.

--Patch staff and City News Service

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