West End photographer jailed for sexual assaulting aspiring actress during shoot

12 April 2022, 20:39 | Updated: 12 April 2022, 20:42

Molliere was jailed for three years at Southwark Crown Court
Molliere was jailed for three years at Southwark Crown Court. Picture: Alamy

By Patrick Grafton-Green

A renowned West End photographer who sexually assaulted an aspiring actress in his studio has been jailed for three years.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

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

He had asked the woman, then aged 22, whether she wanted "to do fashion or sexy shots" and encouraged her to bring a variety of outfits.

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

Molliere, from Hampshire, was jailed for three years at Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday.

He was previously found guilty by a jury of three counts of sexual assault following a nine-day trial.

READ MORE: PM and Chancellor to receive fines for Downing Street lockdown-breaking party breaches

READ MORE: Tory MP resigns from LGBT group over statement defending sex abuser Imran Ahmad Khan

Judge Philip Bartle QC said it was a "clear case of abuse of trust" which had a "life-changing" impact on the victim.

"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 victim) obviously trusted Mr Molliere and he abused that trust in the appalling way, which even he now describes as abhorrent."

The court heard the woman had moved to the capital to pursue an acting career and had borrowed money from her mother to pay for portfolio images.

Prosecutor Tyrone Silcott said Molliere was a "highly renowned and highly regarded photographer of celebrities and actors" who was in "a position of power".

Reading her victim impact statement from the witness box on Tuesday, the woman said: "When I moved to London the dream was to get into theatre, film or television and for that I needed professional head shots.

"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.

"It crushed me and I gave up on my dreams."

After leaving the studio the woman "burst into tears" and told her boyfriend about what had happened.

He called Molliere an "abhorrent human" and contacted him, telling him to delete all the photographs and to refund the money or he would contact the police.

The victim said she was inspired to report the photographer to police in 2019 after the #MeToo movement gained momentum.

"I have nightmares where my skin crawls and 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 denied all counts against him, claiming the incident did not happen and the woman left his studio seeming "elated".

But he has since admitted his guilt in a pre-sentence report, describing his own actions as "abhorrent" but saying he acted "spontaneously".

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

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Prince Harry 'turned down the King's invitation to stay at a royal residence'.

Prince Harry ‘turned down King’s offer to stay in royal residence’ during UK trip because it ‘did not come with security'

A screenshot taken from AP video showing a general view of northern Gaza as seen from southern Israel, before it was seized by Israeli officials

Israel says it will return video equipment seized from news organisation AP

Craig Mackinlay has said he wants to be known as the first 'bionic MP' after losing both his arms and legs to sepsis.

Tory MP Craig Mackinlay says he’s ‘lucky to be alive’ as he reveals he lost both feet and hands to sepsis

Former US president Donald Trump sits in Manhattan Criminal Court in New York

Defence rests without Donald Trump entering witness box in hush money trial

A veterinarian feeds a young howler monkey rescued amid extremely high temperatures in Tecolutilla, Tabasco state, Mexico

Howler monkeys ‘falling out of the trees like apples’ in sweltering Mexico

Mobile coverage is being expanded across the network.

Full list of London Underground stations to receive phone signal this summer - is yours listed?

Prince William hosted a garden party on behalf of his father King Charles

Prince William hosts rain-soaked Buckingham Palace garden party in absence of King Charles

Rudy Giuliani

Rudy Giuliani pleads not guilty in Arizona election interference case

Jan A P Kaczmarek poses with the Oscar for best original score for his work on Finding Neverland during the 77th Academy Awards in February 2005 in Los Angeles

Composer Jan A P Kaczmarek, Oscar winner for Finding Neverland, dies aged 71

Lawbreaking from the extreme-left is just as bad from the extreme-right, Robin Simcox has told LBC.

Lawbreaking by Just Stop Oil is as bad as similar acts by extreme-right, Commissioner for Countering Extremism says

Fred Roos

Fred Roos, Godfather Part II producer and longtime Coppola collaborator, dies

Matthew Trickett, 37, who was on bail after appearing in court accused of assisting the Hong Kong intelligence service

Former Royal Marine charged with spying for China on Hong Kong activists found dead in park in 'unexplained death'

Smokes rise to the sky after explosions in the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel

UN halts food distribution in Rafah due to lack of supplies and insecurity

57 cases of cryptosporidium have been confirmed in Brixham

More than 50 people in Devon ill from contaminated water as suppliers announce £3.5m compensation

A photographer takes a picture of the ancient bronze kneeling woman sculpture during a repatriation ceremony at National Museum in Bangkok, Thailand

Thailand welcomes return of antiquities from New York’s Metropolitan Museum

Exclusive
Sir Alan Duncan has told LBC Britain must arrest Benjamin Netanyahu if the International Criminal Court approves a warrant.

Britain must arrest Israeli Prime Minister if ICC approves warrants, former foreign minister Sir Alan Duncan says