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Woman found dead on Newport beach faced prostitution charges

Tina Hoang had been arrested in California, Nevada and Florida, court papers show. The 20-year-old had given birth in January. Police called her death 'suspicious.'

March 07, 2013|By Lauren Williams, Los Angeles Times
  • Tina Hoang, 20, who was found dead in the sand in Newport Beach, faced prostitution charges in California, Nevada and Florida.
Tina Hoang, 20, who was found dead in the sand in Newport Beach, faced prostitution… (Newport Beach Police Department )

A woman found dead face down in the sand in Newport Beach faced prostitution charges in three states and gave birth shortly before a stint in jail earlier this year, according to public records and interviews.

Tina Hoang, 20, had been arrested on suspicion of prostitution-related crimes in California, Nevada and Florida, court papers show.

The Bellflower resident, whose death was listed as "suspicious" by police, was arrested as recently as December on suspicion of prostitution and had at least a dozen open cases against her in Orange and Los Angeles counties, her attorney said.

"I just read the horrible news this afternoon," Tustin lawyer David Nisson said shortly after police released two photographs of his client showing a tattoo of flowers and stars on the right side of her face. "She was a very nice girl. I was just very shocked to hear that."

Nisson said he last saw Hoang on Feb. 26, the day before her release from Orange County Jail, where she had been held on suspicion of loitering to commit prostitution in Anaheim.

She gave birth in January, according to her attorney.

"I feel so terrible for her baby," he said, adding that he did not know who was caring for the child. "I almost feel guilty because I helped her get out of jail."

Hoang spent a good deal of time in the criminal justice system, Nisson said, which police and court records confirm. Many of the cases remain open, according to court records. She appeared to have only one conviction on her record — for prostitution in March 2012 in Las Vegas.

However, she was arrested multiple times in 2011 and 2012 in Las Vegas on suspicion of prostitution, trespassing and loitering in and entering a casino as a minor, said Laura Meltzer, a spokeswoman with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

Hoang also had charges pending against her on three prostitution-related arrests in Anaheim between August 2011 and December 2012, according to the Anaheim city attorney's office.

She was expected to face prostitution charges Friday in a Van Nuys courtroom as well.

And, in Florida, Hoang was arrested in Miami-Dade County on suspicion of solicitation Nov. 17, 2012, records show.

Police have said little about the woman's death. Detectives said they are awaiting the results of an autopsy and toxicology tests.

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