Police are investigating two claims from women who say they were forcibly tattooed by gang members after they were taken off the streets of Albuquerque.
Both women asked that their names not be released, but shared their story with local ABC affiliate KOAT.
One of the women said, “We were jumped and basically threatened that if we weren’t going to do what they said, then that would be it, and they took us and tattooed us.”
The other victim, a teenager, said the men that grabbed them held them on the ground while one man tattooed his name all over her body. She said she feels “trapped” in her own body, “like it’s not mine.”
When she spoke with KOAT, Albuquerque Police Department Sgt. Trish Hoffman said she had never heard anything like this, and that gang detectives had not heard anything about it in the last 10 years either.
Assistant District Attorney Edga Sprague said that she knows of two similar cases.
“[In] both cases, they had tattoos specifically on genitalia, breast…[and the] buttocks,” Sprague said.
Dawn Maestas, who works with victims to help remove what attackers have done to them said, “These are not tattoos. This is a form of branding and mutilating a victim and it just so happened that they used a tattoo gun to achieve this process.”