Legal troubles don't deter effort to start specialty school

A Medford woman cited by police for prostitution last month is spearheading an effort to establish a school in Ashland for children with disabilities.

Annette Marie Wilson, 34, who said she is a massage therapist and private caregiver, held a press conference Wednesday announcing her plans to open The Haley Academy in late 2010 or early 2011 at a French-style mansion at 1280 Oak St., Ashland.

Jackson County prosecutor Dave Hoppe said he expected to file misdemeanor prostitution charges today against Wilson and six others who were cited and released in a sting June 23 and 24 by Central Point and Medford police.

The others include Rickie Lee Davis, 52, of Chico, Calif., and Jason Dale Campbell, 37, and Bryan Michael Hawkins, 29, both of White City, who were cited for buying sexual acts.

Wilson, Elizabeth Malette Kanita, 27, of Medford, Danielle Sherice Smith, 30, of Grants Pass, and Racheal Lynn Bradley, 27, of Medford, were cited for working as prostitutes.

"I don't think it has anything to do with the school," Wilson said of the expected charges. "I was put in a predicament. It was a complete misunderstanding. Everyone had their clothes off but me."

The Haley Academy, named for Wilson's school-age daughter, would serve children with disabilities, specializing in epilepsy and autism, Wilson said.

The school would have capacity for about 50 pupils to board at the mansion, with room for additional daytime students, according to the foundation's Web site. It would accept children ages 2 through 18.

It's unclear whether the school would charge tuition or be sponsored as a public charter school, Wilson said.

Wilson said she and her daughter have epilepsy, which inspired her to begin research four years ago on starting a specialty school.

"I didn't have the care I should have" in school, said Wilson, who attended schools in California and Washington state.

Wilson filed the Haley Foundation as a nonprofit corporation with the Oregon Secretary of State about a week ago. The foundation has not yet been filed as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity with the Oregon Department of Justice, said Jake Weigler, a justice department spokesman.

A nonprofit has up to a year to register with the justice department after it has filed with the secretary of state, Weigler said.

The foundation has received more than $6,000 in donations, Wilson said.

About $5.2 million would be needed to buy the chateau at an asking price of $4.2 million and to add a playground, athletic facilities and an additional building for academic programs, Wilson said.

She said she hopes to use both donations and grants to buy the property and open the school.

The mansion's owner, Stan Mazor, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Dawn Hatchard, who is assisting Wilson in marketing the school, said the foundation has not yet begun to seek grants or to work with other nonprofit groups serving children with disabilities.

"We are really trying to get some people involved who really want to help and to help these kids," Hatchard said.

The Oregon Attorney General's Office recommends not donating to nonprofit organizations that are not registered with the justice department.

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Reach reporter Paris Achen at 776-4459 or e-mail

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