Alleged illegal inker accused of sex crime

Raymond Veenstra is arraigned on Sept. 21, 2015.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man already facing charges for allegedly tattooing teenage girls out of his Grand Rapids home and posting their nude photos online now faces a criminal sexual conduct charge.

The fourth-degree CSC charge was added against Raymond Veenstra, 42, during a Thursday status conference in Kent County Circuit Court. Prosecutors also said they could add two more counts of fourth-degree CSC.

The prosecutor’s office said a total of four minors have come forward claiming Veenstra sexually assaulted them while giving them tattoos.

Veenstra, who was arrested in September, already faces two charges of accosting children for immoral purposes and a public health code violation.

He’s accused of giving teen girls tattoos and then posting photos online that exposed their private parts to show the tattoos. And according to court documents, Veenstra used Facebook’s messenger function to ask teen girls for sexual favors in return for the tattoos in at least two cases.

The health code violation is because Veenstra was running an illegal tattooing business out of his home, authorities say.

Thursday, Veenstra was offered a plea deal that calls for him to plead guilty to one count of fourth-degree CSC, one count of accosting a child for immoral purposes and the health code violation. He would have to plead as a second-offense habitual offender, lengthening the possible sentence. In exchange, the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office said it would drop the other charges Veenstra faces and agree not to add any more CSC charges.

Veenstra did not immediately accept the deal, but has until his next hearing on Jan. 14 to decide whether to do so.

Also Thursday, the judge lowered Veenstra’s bond, which was originally set at $250,000. He has remained in the Kent County jail since his arrest, unable to come up with the 10 percent of that required to post bond and be released. Veenstra’s attorney argued that the bond was higher than any other case she could find in Kent County for accosting a child for immoral purposes. After questioning Veenstra about his ties to the community, Judge Paul Sullivan lowered Veenstra’s bond to $50,000.

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