Multiple news sources are reporting that Newport Beach photographer Jason Ellis was arraigned today for statutory rape of a 15 year old girl after agreeing to help her with her modeling career.
33-year old Jason Ellis, whose photos have appeared on the covers of magazines such as Elle and Muscle & Fitness, is charged with three counts of lewd acts and one count each of statutory rape, oral copulation of a minor and digital penetration of a minor, said Farrah Emami of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. Ellis’ live-in fiance, 31-year-old Michelle Hecker, who is listed Ellis’ representative on his Web site, is charged with aiding and abetting Ellis in the same crimes. An arrest warrant has been issued for her arrest.
KTLA reported that:
Heckler introduced the girl to Ellis under the pretense that he could help with her modeling, Emami said.
Between August 2007 and June, Ellis took the girl on dates to movies and dinner, kissing and touching her in public, Emami said.
Hecker allegedly helped Ellis gain the trust of the girl’s parents, picking her up from her home supposedly for horseback riding or some other activity.
But prosecutors say she took the girl to meet Ellis at the Fashion Island mall and drove her home later.
To hide what the two were doing, Hecker allegedly had the girl wear riding clothes when she picked her up or dropped her off, Emami said.