Porn News

Montessori Kin was Working as a Prostie

SANTA ANA, Calif. – On a tidy cul-de-sac known by frustrated residents as a popular spot for prostitutes and their customers, a neighbor heard a thump and a truck driving away.

The resident went to look and found a teenage girl crumpled on the street, bleeding profusely from her head. She didn’t make it to the hospital alive. Jane Doe lay abandoned in the morgue for months.

Police, trying to identify her, released a photo of a girl with piercing blue eyes and fire-engine-red hair. A prostitute told police she thought the girl was from Georgia, documents show.

Eventually, authorities identified her as Hanna Montessori, the great-great-granddaughter of the founder of Montessori schools.

Her death in January 2004 prompted media attention from Los Angeles to London and shed light on the dangers to young girls working as prostitutes. The problem is gaining national attention as local and federal authorities target pimps charged with trafficking girls from Hawaii to New Jersey.

Prosecutors say Hanna was the victim of a Garden Grove, Calif., car salesman with a history of assaulting young street girls. The District Attorney’s Office in December charged Jonathan Tran, 21, with Hanna’s murder and with the sexual assault of three other prostitutes.

Key to the prosecution’s murder case is testimony by the three other young women, two of them minors, who say Tran assaulted them.

“These girls were picked to be his victims because they are forgotten girls,” said Deputy District Attorney Susan Kang Schroeder. “These are really girls with no resources and nowhere to turn.”

In Orange County, a growing number of girls like Hanna are being picked up for prostitution, county data shows.

Nearly 200 girls have been referred to probation for prostitution-related charges since 2001, the Orange County Probation Department says.

Girls are getting younger, dropping in average age from 17 in 2001 to just past their 16th birthday last year. The youngest was not yet 12.

Like Hanna, more than half the girls charged with prostitution since 2001 traveled here from out of the area, county data shows.

Santa Ana police make prostitution arrests nearly every week along Harbor Boulevard, considered the “million-dollar track” by streetwalkers looking for customers with deep pockets, police say. They have arrested at least 59 juveniles there since 2003. One was 12, one was 13, and five were 14 years old.

Adults are booked and released; minors go home to parents or to Juvenile Hall.

“We are getting a flood of them from different counties,” said Juvenile Hall Assistant Division Director Stacey McCoy. Many are relieved to be in the safety of the hall, she said. “But some of them come here and want to find other girls to work for their pimp.”

It’s unclear what happened to Hanna before her body was dumped on North Morse Drive, just a short walk to Harbor Boulevard and businesses like Spanky’s Adult Video.

Hanna’s parents, Cheryl Montagu of Georgia and Phillip Montessori of Maine, won’t speak publicly about their daughter, their attorney said. They are suing the Georgia Department of Human Resources for ignoring warnings that their daughter was a flight risk from foster care. Georgia officials wouldn’t comment, either.

In earlier interviews, her parents described Hanna’s childhood as one of privilege until they divorced.

By the time Hanna contacted police, her mother lived in a trailer in Georgia and her father was living in a Maine motel, Georgia records show.

Hanna called police in August 2003 alleging she had been hit by her mother and sexually abused by her mother’s boyfriend, records show. Social workers noted red marks on her arms and legs.

“I only smacked her five or six times,” Montagu said in a social worker’s report.

Hanna filed false molestation charges in retaliation for strict discipline, Montagu’s lawsuit said. Because of her behavioral problems, she’d been shuttled between her mother and father’s homes, Montagu told social workers.

When social services put Hanna in a foster home, she ran away, was found and ran away again.

By running, Hanna put herself at increased risk to be exploited and abused, experts say. Up to a third of runaways and homeless youth engage in prostitution – or what is known as survival sex – national studies say.

If Hanna’s experience on the streets of Santa Ana was at all common, she lived in a violent underworld with its own lexicon, rigid rules and penalties for infractions.

Many prostitutes are dominated by pimps who pocket their earnings and control them through violence and psychological manipulation.

Prostitutes tell of customers who degrade them and then share family photos.

“I prayed every night to find a guy who wouldn’t make me cry,” said one 16-year-old girl at Children of the Night, a Van Nuys, Calif.-based residential center for former prostitutes. “They always made me cry.”

Hanna told people back home that she was hanging with friends. Otis Jefferson, a musician who knew her in Georgia, said she called him often after she ran away. He assumed she was selling her body, but he didn’t chastise her for fear she wouldn’t call back.

“She was basically chilling,” he said. “When she turned 18, she’d come back to Georgia. She’s one of them people you can’t tell what to do.”

She called again weeks before she died, but Jefferson couldn’t hear much. She said: “Don’t worry, I’m going to be OK.” The phone went dead. Jefferson did worry but didn’t know what to do.

That was the last he heard from her.

After police got the tip that Hanna was from Georgia, they called police there who took the photo to group homes where someone identified her, Georgia state records show.

Back in Santa Ana, police began to hear stories similar to Hanna’s.

One girl, age 17, was arrested for prostitution in Riverside and told police that a week earlier in Santa Ana, an Asian man who claimed he was a police officer forced her to perform oral sex, court documents show. She picked Tran out of a photo lineup.

Almost two years after Hanna’s death, the prosecutor filed charges.

“We believe (Montessori) was picked up, there was an attempted sexual assault, and as a result of that she was thrown out (of the truck),” said Santa Ana Police Department Spokesman Lorenzo Carrillo.

Tran’s attorney, Richard Wynn, did not answer repeated calls for comment.

Tran also declined to be interviewed.

In addition to Hanna’s murder, he is charged with raping and robbing a 17-year-old girl at gunpoint and committing a similar crime with an 18-year-old. He is charged with forcing a fourth girl to perform oral sex while claiming to be a police officer.

If convicted on all charges, Tran faces 55 years to life in state prison.

Days after learning about his daughter’s death, Hanna’s father called South Gate mortuary owner Glenn Midgley and asked him to return her remains.

Workers bathed her beaten body, washed the blood from her hair and sewed up her wounds. They strapped her body, wrapped in plastic, into a wooden box and flew her cross-country back to Maine.


Related Posts

Two New Dorcel Features by Franck Vicomte Hit the U.S

Dorcel on Thursday announced the unveiling of two new all-sex releases from veteran director Franck Vicomte.

How Sex-Ed Lays the Groundwork for Well-Informed Shopping

We often do some research before making purchases, whether by delving into a company’s background, exploring specific products or simply making sure we understand how to use something before we buy it. In the realm of pleasure products, however, it…

Industry Vets Tiffany Ray, Kristen Kaye Launch Invision Models

New adult talent agency Invision Models officially opens its doors with the launch of its website

FSC to Hold Webinar on Taxes for Adult Industry Professionals

LOS ANGELES — FSC will conduct the “No Stigma, All Strategy: Taxes for the Adult Industry” webinar on Tuesday at 11 a.m. (PST). The session will feature a tax expert who specializes in supporting the adult content industry, in an event…

JMG, Royal Fetish Street ‘Fetish Training: Double Domination’

Distributor Joy Media Group and production company Royal Fetish Films have released the first DVD featuring exclusive content from RoyalFetishXXX.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.