West End photographer convicted of sexually assaulting aspiring actress more than a decade ago | UK News

A West End photographer has been convicted of sexually assaulting an aspiring actress at a £400 “modelling shoot” more than a decade ago.

Pascal Molliere, also known as Pascal Gerrard, exploited the young woman during an hour-long photoshoot at a warehouse in Fulham, west London, in July 2010.

The 55-year-old was found guilty on Friday at Southwark Crown Court of three counts of sexual assault and will appear for sentencing on 12 April.

Police are appealing for any further victims to come forward.

Molliere and the victim first interacted in July 2010 through a website used by actors to find work and book relevant services.

The woman, who was in her 20s at the time of the attack, was an aspiring actress and had contacted Molliere as she believed he was a reputable photographer who could help her produce headshots.

The pair arranged the time and location of the shoot, which Molliere said would cost around £400 and last an hour, police said.

He suggested that she bring alternative clothes, including lingerie, so that he could take some provocative shots for the time they had leftover, suggesting that this would be good for her portfolio.

When the woman arrived for the shoot at Molliere’s studio in Fulham, west London, he locked the door once she was inside, saying this was to protect her privacy and prevent the photoshoot from being interrupted.

Molliere became “increasingly tactile” with the woman as he suggested positioning for the photos, police said.

The woman initially believed that Molliere was simply helping her to achieve the best outcome.

Molliere then asked her to pose provocatively which made her “incredibly distressed”, according to police, but she was too afraid to show this and completed the photo shoot to avoid confrontation.

She changed into the clothing Molliere had suggested, some of which he asked her to remove as the photo shoot progressed, before sexually assaulting her.

When she tried to leave, he suggested she should take part in another photoshoot with other women at his home, which she declined.

After leaving the shoot, the woman immediately called her boyfriend to tell him what had happened.

He contacted Molliere to ask for an explanation, and Molliere promptly refunded the £400 fee for the shoot – which was put forward in court as indicative of his guilt.

It was only when the woman saw a newspaper article some years later in relation to the defendant being cleared at court for a series of similar sexual offences, which led her to report the allegation to the police in 2019.

‘There may be more victims’

Detective Constable David Roberts, from the Public Protection Unit in the Central West BCU, commended the survivor of the attack for her “incredible bravery and courage”.

He added: “Our primary concern is that there may be more young women who have been subject to the same treatment by Molliere – who now goes by ‘Pascal Gerrard’.

“It is essential that, if you recognise either of these names and think that you may have been affected in a similar way, you let us know.

“We want everyone to understand that if you do not feel comfortable talking to police then there are a number of ways that you can report sexual assault, or any other crime, completely anonymously. I hope that today’s result demonstrates that the Met will stand with victims of crime.”

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