Pascal Molliere: Renowned West End photographer jailed for sexually assaulting actress

Renowned West End photographer Pascal Molliere has been jailed for three years after he sexually assaulted an aspiring actress in his studio more than a decade ago.

Molliere, also known as Pascal Gerrard, attacked the woman, then aged 22, during an hour-long photoshoot at a warehouse in Fulham, west London, in July 2010.

Before the shoot Molliere, 55, asked the woman whether she wanted “to do fashion or sexy shots”.

The photographer locked the studio door, encouraged her to remove more and more clothing and pose for more revealing photos, before touching and kissing her genitals and forcefully kissing her on the mouth.

Judge Philip Bartle QC said the event had a “life-changing” impact on the victim.

He said Molliere “exploited his position as a professional photographer to exploit the vulnerability of a trusting young woman who was also a paying customer to satisfy his sexual desires”.

The court heard the victim had moved to London to pursue an acting career.

The woman, who cannot be named as she is a victim of sexual offences, read her victim impact statement and described how the event “crushed” her.

She said: “After what happened, I felt so sick at the thought of even trying to go for roles, that somehow it would rear its ugly head and I would just be made out to be another girl willing to do anything to get to the top.

“After it all happened, I felt sick, disgusted with myself. For all these years I have felt guilty and ashamed that I must have done something to make him think it was what I wanted.”

The victim “burst into tears” after leaving the studio and told her boyfriend what happened, who called Molliere and told him to delete all the photos and to refund the money or he would contact the police.

The woman said she was inspired to report the photographer to police in 2019 by the #MeToo movement.

Molliere, from Hampshire, was jailed for three years at Southwark Crown Court, after he was previously found guilty by a jury of three counts of sexual assault following a nine-day trial.

He denied all counts against him during the trial and claimed the incident “absolutely” did not happen and that the woman left his studio seeming “elated”.

But he has since admitted his guilt in a pre-sentence report, describing his actions as “abhorrent” – saying he acted “spontaneously”.

He was also handed a 10-year sexual harm prevention order banning him from working as a photographer without police permission.

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