Coach accused of tattooing minor

HASTINGS, Minn. - The gymnastics coach at Park of Cottage Grove High School has been placed on administrative leave after being cited forapplying a pair of tattoos to a juvenile.

Hastings Police Chief Bryan Schafer says 37-year-old Terry Robert Hardywas issued a citation for two misdemeanor counts of assault.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health website, it is against the law to tattoo minors, regardless of parental consent.

Chief Schafer says the tattoos were applied in June, at a location in the city of Hastings. Investigators found that Hardy is not licensed with the State of Minnesota to give tattoos. He says it appears that a student from Park of Cottage Grove brought the victim, also from the high school, to get the tattoos.

The chief says further investigation did not turn up any other crimes associated with the application of the tattoos.

A spokesperson for the Cottage Grove Public Schools says that Hardy is on leave from his job as gymnastics coach, and has been dismissed as a gymnastics coordinator for District 833's community Education program.

In an interesting twist the statute that Hardy is being charged under was repealed in August. At this point in time the chief says no one can apply a tattoo to anyone under 18 even with a parent's permission, but added that there are no specified penalties for those who violate the law.

Police expect that Hardy will appear in court sometime in the next few weeks on the assault charges.


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