Detroit tattoo artist faces multiple sexual harassment and assault allegations

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Up to 200 women have made accusations against Detroit tattoo artist Alexander Boyko, according to an investigative report published on Jezebel on Thursday.

In the article, as many as seven women allege Boyko solicited nude photos under the guise of using them to draw tattoo outlines, sent unsolicited nude photos of himself, and inappropriately touched, harassed, or assaulted the women.

In addition to those seven women, dozens more have made anonymous accusations online, but, according to the report, no criminal charges have been filed against the artist.

Boyko has most recently worked at Sun House, a tattoo studio in Detroit, and the business has made vague online statements regarding his firing amid the allegations.

Those allegations seem to have been circulating for years, with Boyko gaining a reputation for sending clients photos of his penis. However, a concerted effort to bring awareness to his alleged misdeeds began in late 2017, first on Facebook and then on Tumblr. Both pages that have since been deleted, but their authors say as many as 200 women reached out with stories ranging from online harassment to rape.

Boyko has also made two statements on social media, in which he claims he has never had nonconsensual sexual relations with anyone, but admitted to sending nude photos to and having sex with clients.

The first statement was made on an Instagram story, which disappears after 24 hours, the other was an Instagram post that has since been deleted.

Boyko's attorney, Jeffrey Perlman, also vehemently denies the claims. He told Jezebel: “The allegations on social media are all anonymous. A lot of those people are all tagging on to what someone already said. The allegations by themselves are all anonymous ... We haven’t spoken to anybody and nobody’s ever made any allegations to law enforcement whatsoever.”

While no women have filed a criminal report against the artist, Boyko has filed defamation charges against another Detroit area tattoo artist he alleges is behind the sudden sweep of accusations.

Jon Larson, who works at Depot Town Tattoo in Ypsilanti, says Boyko sent him a cease and desist in mid-December. Later on in the month, after trying to file a police report against Boyko, Larson says a Livonia police detective told him he could be subject to criminal harassment charges if he didn't stop making accusations against Boyko online.

Larson is one of five people (one other male tattoo artist and three women) who have shared allegations against Boyko on the internet, but he and Boyko have a long history, none of it very friendly.

On Dec. 22, 2017 Boyko filed a police report with the Livonia Police Department, alleging Larson had previously accused him of stealing tattoo clients, among other things. More recently, on Jan. 12, 2018, Boyko filed a $25,000 defamation case in Wayne County civil court against Larson — along with two other artists and two tattoo shops.

So far, several tattoo shops that have hosted Boyko in the past, including Black Anvil Tattoo in Fort Wayne, Indiana and Black Oak Tattoo in Chicago, have made public statements saying they will not welcome the artist back.

You can read the whole report here.