Havant photographer found guilty of sexually assaulting aspiring actress during photoshoot, making her 'feel sick' and 'uncomfortable'

A HAVANT photographer has been found guilty of sexually assaulting an aspiring actress, making her ‘feel sick’ and ‘uncomfortable’.

Friday, 25th February 2022, 4:38 pm
Updated Friday, 25th February 2022, 4:40 pm

Pascal Molliere, 55, exploited the woman during an hour-long photoshoot at a warehouse in Fulham, west London, in July 2010.

Jurors at Southwark Crown Court heard Molliere kissed and repeatedly groped the victim, after being ‘polite and professional’ for the initial 15 minutes of the shoot and locking the door.

The woman, 22, had moved to London to pursue an acting career.

West End theatre photographer Pascal Molliere has been found guilty at Southwark Crown Court of sexually assaulting an aspiring actress in his studio more than a decade ago. The 55 year-old exploited the woman during an hour-long photoshoot at a warehouse in Fulham, west London, in July 2010. Issue date: Friday February 25, 2022. Picture: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire.

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She had borrowed money from her mother to pay for portfolio images to publicise herself, the court heard.

Prosecutor Tyrone Silcott said Molliere started out taking headshots but then photographed her from underneath with her legs open and touched her genitals.

The woman ‘burst into tears’ after leaving the studio and told her boyfriend what happened, jurors heard.

Her boyfriend branded Molliere an ‘abhorrent human’ and told him he would contact the police if the photographer did not delete all the photographs and refund the money.

The prosecutor said: ‘For her part, she felt uncomfortable and upset.

‘After the photoshoot had finished, the defendant kissed her with “a full kiss on the mouth”.

‘The kiss made her feel sick.’

Mr Silcott told jurors that ahead of the shoot, Molliere asked the woman whether she wanted ‘to do fashion or sexy shots’.

The woman agreed to bring lingerie because she was interested in modelling and ‘felt it might be nice to take some photographs for her and her then partner’, he added.

She said she was inspired to report Molliere to the police in 2019 after the #MeToo movement gained momentum.

Molliere denied all counts against him, claiming the incident ‘absolutely’ did not happen and the woman left his studio seeming ‘elated’.

He said when he received a call from her boyfriend days later, he believed the couple had fallen out over the sexual nature of the pictures.

A jury convicted him of three counts of sexual assault after deliberating for two days.

The photographer, from Havant, will be sentenced on April 12.

Pauline Curtis, from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said: ‘In his capacity as a professional photographer Pascal Molliere exploited a young woman who had simply wanted a portfolio of images to help her begin an acting career.

‘She did not consent to any sexual activity.

‘The victim trusted Molliere as a professional photographer, however, that trust was abused while she was in her most vulnerable state.

‘The prosecution case included strong testimony from the brave victim who came to court and gave evidence against her abuser during the trial.

‘Sexual offences are some of the most complex cases that we prosecute.

‘I hope these convictions provide the victim with some closure and encourage other victims of such crimes to come forward and report their attackers.

‘The CPS is committed to bringing sexual predators to justice regardless of the time that has passed.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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