NEWBERG, Ore. – A mother said tattoos sent her son to the emergency room after they were given to him illegally by a high school student.
Misty Hines said her son had two tattoos done recently, while he was still 17. She had no idea where they came from until police got involved.
Stephen Matt Lister, 18, was arrested after police started investigating him in late September following a complaint from the school's nurse to the Newberg High School Resource Officer, who is a member of the Newberg Police Department.
“I would have never thought my son was getting a tattoo the night he stayed at Matt’s until he showed me,” Hines said. “I don’t know if Matt’s licensed. I didn’t know if Matt was doing it out of his home.”
Hines said about one week later she took her son to the emergency room because he was feeling sick.
“I thought he had a collapsed lung, he also had a large open wound on the back of his right arm from where he got the tattoo.”
Newberg Police said Lister gave tattoos to at least 10 students at his apartment with a tattoo gun and without a license. At least two of the students were diagnosed with MRSA infections, a staph infection that is resistant to antibiotics. Investigators said they worried Lister was reusing some of the ink.
Police said they also learned Lister was having sexual relationships with young girls who attended the school.
Lister faces numerous charges, including 10 counts of performing services in a field of practice without a license, three counts of third-degree sex abuse, two counts of third-degree sodomy and three counts of third-degree rape.
Lister’s brother told KATU News that his brother gave him a tattoo but he didn’t know if he was giving tattoos to other people.
“He’s really good at drawing. I told him we could pursue it that way. Now he’s getting in trouble for doing tattoos,” said Jessy Seltus. “I’ve never seen him do a tattoo on anybody else.”
Lister is now in the Yamhill County Jail. He called his Seltus while KATU News was interviewing him and said he’s not guilty.
Investigators are urging parents to get their children checked by a doctor if they spot any new tattoos.
Hines said she still doesn’t know if her son has MRSA or not.
“I feel sorry for the families. It’s not something a kid should have to go through,” Hines said. “What he’s done has ruined so many lives.”