A West End photographer convicted of sexually assaulting an aspiring actress in his studio has been jailed.
Pascal Molliere, 55, from Havant in Hampshire, carried out the attack during an hour-long photography session at a warehouse in Fulham, west London, in July 2010.
Southwark Crown Court heard he locked a door before kissing and groping his victim, then aged 22.
Judge Philip Bartle QC jailed Molliere for three years.
Sentencing Molliere – who has previously used the surname Gerrard – Judge Bartle said it was a “clear case of abuse of trust”, which had had a “life-changing” impact on the complainant.
He added: “This would appear to be a case where Mr 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,” he said.
The court heard the woman had moved to London to pursue an acting career and had borrowed money from her mother to pay for portfolio images.
Reading her victim impact statement, the woman said the assault “crushed” her and made her “give up on her dreams”.
“I have nightmares where my skin crawls and I feel physically sick,” she said.
“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.
“I remember the feeling of fear being locked in that room.”
During the trial, Molliere said what was alleged “absolutely” did not happen and the woman had left his studio seeming “elated”, but a pre-sentence report showed he had since admitted the assault – which he said was “abhorrent” but “spontaneous”.
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