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Case of Roseville tattoo artist accused of sex crimes declared mistrial

By: ToLewis, The Press Tribune
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AUBURN – The case against a Roseville tattoo artist accused of inappropriate sexual behavior with his clients was declared a mistrial Friday afternoon after three days of deliberation resulted in a hung jury. Zechariah Carr, 38, of Roseville, was facing seven charges, including two counts of sexual penetration by force, three counts of sexual battery and two counts of indecent exposure. Three of the charges stemmed from a 2008 case in Sacramento, and the remaining four charges were from an incident that occurred in Roseville in 2010. The four-day trial came to a close Wednesday when the jury, made up of mostly middle-aged men and three women, heard closing arguments and was handed the case. The jury came to its decision around noon Friday after requesting additional closing arguments Friday morning. In both cases, Carr admitted to exposing himself and touching the alleged victims, referred to by the court as “Jane Doe No. 1” and “Jane Doe No. 2,” in a sexual manner. Carr maintained in the trial that he believed the sexual contact was consensual in the case with Jane Doe No. 1, partially because the woman gave him “dirty, flirtatious looks” and they had conversations that were sexual in nature. That case was dismissed by Sacramento County without a trial in 2009 and was picked up again by Placer County when Carr was arrested for a separate incident in 2010. In the first case, Carr was working at Studio M in Sacramento as a tattoo artist when a woman, an exotic dancer from Sacramento, came to the tattoo shop on Nov. 4, 2008 to receive a piercing in her private area, according to court records. Jane Doe No. 1 testified that Carr allegedly bound her in a gurney in spurs and made sexual contact with her against her will, according to court records. Carr’s defense attorney Tim Balcom argued that the woman also gave conflicting reports as to what actually happened during the encounter. Carr was found not guilty Friday on all three charges from Sacramento County, which were forcible digital penetration, forcible oral copulation and indecent exposure. The jury could not reach a decision Friday, however, regarding the charges involving Jane Doe No. 2, which resulted in a hung jury. For that incident, Carr was facing two charges of sexual battery, one charge of indecent exposure and one count of forcible digital penetration. The jury favored a not guilty verdict 11-1 on the most serious felony charge of forcible digital penetration and was virtually evenly split on the remaining charges. The second set of charges arose while Carr was working as a tattoo artist at Wild Bill’s Tattoo in Roseville. Jane Doe No. 2 came to Wild Bill’s Tattoo on Aug. 10, 2010 with a group of her friends to receive a couple tattoos on her hip and chest area for her 20th birthday, according to court records. Prosecutor Stephanie Macumber stated in her closing arguments Wednesday that after the woman’s friends had left the tattoo shop, she and Carr were alone when he sexually assaulted her. Carr stated during his testimony Tuesday that the contact, some of which he admitted to and some he denied, was consensual because the woman had agreed to trade sexual favors for the tattoo. Balcom said there were inconsistencies in the woman’s testimony about the alleged contract. Macumber told the jury Wednesday that the woman was confused, shocked and afraid during the encounter. Balcom stated in his closing arguments Wednesday that Carr may have acted unprofessional, but what he did was not illegal “beyond a reasonable doubt” since both women gave conflicting stories as to what actually happened. “I will wholeheartedly agree with (Macumber) that (Carr) acted incredibly unprofessional,” Balcom told the jury. “If your heart is pulling one way, the law is pulling the other. It was not illegal.” Carr was subsequently fired from Wild Bill’s Tattoo immediately following the accusation, Balcom said. The case has been continued to March 28, on which date Macumber will have the opportunity to refile charges. Carr remains out of police custody. Toby Lewis can be reached at tobyl@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @TobyLewis_RsvPT.