Phoenix PD: Woman drugged, raped while getting a tattoo

Posted: Updated:
(Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
(Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)

Phoenix police have arrested a tattoo artist for sexual assault charges after a woman said she was drugged and raped while getting a tattoo.

According to court documents, the 19-year-old victim was offered a free tattoo by 26-year-old Arturo Palafox at Dark Side Tattoo in Phoenix. Documents state that the victim and Palafox were alone in the shop while she was getting her tattoo.

The victim told officers that she and Palafox were drinking whiskey during the tattoo process. The victim said that Palafox touched her inappropriately while he was tattooing her. 

Documents state that victim tried to roll away from Palafox and she texted her sister to come get her. 

The victim then went to the bathroom and left her cup on the counter. When she returned, she saw a green powder on the inside of her cup. The victim told police at this point she was very intoxicated and texted her sister again saying she thought Palafox was trying to drug her.

The victim said she does not remember much after she drank the liquid. She told police that she remembered being on the couch in the tattoo shop's lobby and that was when Palafox raped her. 

The victim's sister then showed up at the shop and began banging on the front door. The victim was able to get up and and leave with her sister. She told her sister she had been raped and the sister called the police. 

Phoenix police arrested Palafox and obtained a search warrant for the tattoo shop and his car. The warrant included surveillance video from the tattoo shop. 

Documents state that Palafox can be seen on camera sexually abusing and assaulting the victim, taking pictures of her genitals, and switching the cup she was drinking out of, corroborating the victim's statement that she had been drugged.

The surveillance footage also showed Palafox trying to stop the victim from leaving the room, knowing her sister was outside. The victim submitted to a sexual assault exam and stated that at no time did she desire sexual contact with Palafox and did not make any deals with him for a tattoo in exchange for sex.

Palafox was booked and charged with 15 counts of sexual assault, six counts of sexual abuse and other charges. He is being held without bail due to the nature of the crimes. 

To read a PDF of the police report, click HERE,

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.