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Man accused of having sex with minor marries his alleged victim

April 20, 2011 |  6:54 am

A Newport Beach fitness photographer accused of having sex with a 15-year-old girl has married his alleged victim now that she's an adult, county records show.

Jason James Ellis, 36, who is facing statutory rape charges, married the 18-year-old woman in Laguna Hills on Feb. 28, according to an Orange County license and certificate of marriage.

Prosecutors said the woman has stopped cooperating with authorities in their felony case against Ellis and his ex-fiancée, Michelle Hecker, who had been accused of sexually assaulting the then-minor female in 2007 and 2008. It's not clear how the marriage would affect a jury's decision, but Deputy Dist. Atty. Drew Haughton said the circumstances are certainly unusual in a sexual assault case such as statutory rape.

"I typically saw weddings more in the context where there was a pregnancy involved and they wanted to keep the family together," Haughton said, adding that Ellis and his wife aren't expecting as far as he knows. "I don't think I've ever seen one with this large an age difference."

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