Photographer accused of raping East Devon woman

PUBLISHED: 16:10 20 November 2019

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant


A woman who alleges she was raped during a photo shoot has told a jury that she would ‘never have entered the building’ if she knew what was going to happen.

The woman travelled from Sidmouth to photographer Paul Brown's studio in Okehampton because she had been asked to send a portfolio to a modelling agency, Exeter Crown Court heard.

On Wednesday (November 20) she told the court she believed the agency to be genuine and the photo shoot would help her get lucrative work as a model.

She is one of 15 women who allege they were either raped, sexually assaulted or tricked into posing naked or partially naked for him.

The prosecution allege that Brown, using the name Paul D Smart, set up a bogus agency called Model South West as a ploy to get women to his studio.

They say he contacted women while pretending to be women employees of the agency and then deceived them into either posing for explicit photographs or taking part in sexual act with him.

He is alleged to have persuaded them to take part in what he called adult casting which involved him committing sexual acts with them under the pretence that the images would help them secure work in adult entertainment.

The first of seven women who allege they were raped gave evidence that she was contacted on Facebook Messenger in 2015 by someone she thought to a woman called Jo from Model South West.

She said Brown, whom she knew as Smart, persuaded her to have sex by saying the images may get her work in the adult entertainment industry.

She said he got her to sign a non-disclosure agreement and a photo release form and she remained under the impression that Model South West was trying to find her work.

She said she had no idea that Brown had recorded details of her name, body size and shape, the venue of their meeting and a rating in a 'black book', found by police.

She said: "If I knew something like that was going to happen, I would specifically not have entered the building. I was not aware of it, I did not expect it.

"I was not looking for a sexual encounter. I was in a relationship at the time. It would not have crossed my mind to do something like that."

The trial continues.

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