Photographer faces charges

Times Staff Writer

A photographer whose clients include celebrities and fitness models was charged Tuesday with having unlawful sex with a teenage girl, authorities said.

Jason Ellis, 33, of Newport Beach lured a girl, 14, by promising to help her with a modeling career, prosecutors said.

According to a statement from the Orange County district attorney’s office, Ellis’ live-in fiancee, Michelle Hecker, 31, acted as a facilitator by picking up the victim, now 15, from her mother’s house and taking her to meet Ellis. Hecker is charged with aiding and abetting.

The alleged abuse occurred over 10 months, ending in June when the girl’s parents hired a private investigator after becoming suspicious of their daughter’s friendship with Ellis and Hecker, prosecutors said.


The district attorney requested that Ellis and Hecker be held on $100,000 bail each. If convicted, each could face a maximum sentence of seven years in state prison.