Police: Las Vegas man impersonated officer to force sex with escort

Feb 1, 2014
Crime
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A man Las Vegas police say pretended to be an officer and forced an escort to have sex with him at a Strip hotel now faces charges of assaulting her.

Mark Picozzi, 48, of Las Vegas, was arrested Thursday and faces multiple charges, including sexual assault, impersonating a public officer and making false statements to police, Metro said. He also has prior convictions or arrest warrants in three states.

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In a taped interview with a detective, the woman who was assaulted said she went to The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on Tuesday to meet a client. When the escort got to the hotel room, an arrest report says, the man told her he was a vice officer and that if she had sex with him, he wouldn’t arrest her for an outstanding DUI warrant.

It is unclear how the man knew the woman had an outstanding warrant. She told police he ordered her to tell him her name and Social Security number, then made a phone call in the hotel room shortly before he confronted her about the warrant.

The two had sex, police said, and the woman left the hotel. While driving away, a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper pulled her over on a traffic stop. She was arrested on outstanding warrants and told the arresting officer about the assault.

Detectives watched security footage from The Cosmopolitan, looking for when the hotel room door opened and shut. Video times lined up with the woman’s story, police said.

Detectives said they talked with a man whose phone number matched the escort company’s record and tried to set up a meeting with him at The Cosmopolitan with the man. But after waiting for almost an hour and no one showed up, police said, they abandoned that attempt.

Investigators said they determined the man on the escort client list was Picozzi.

When police finally found Picozzi, they said he tried to give a false identity. Officers searched his vehicle, the arrest report says, and found duct tape, a knife, scissors, gloves and papers with several women’s names written down.

Picozzi later waived his Miranda rights, police said, and told officers he and the woman had consensual sex and that she tried to blackmail him about a drug deal. He also said he spoke to the woman on the phone on Wednesday. Police said that couldn’t have happened because she was in their custody then.

Picozzi was arrested on eight counts, including several sexual assault charges, making false statements to police and impersonating an officer. He was also arrested for being a fugitive.

According to Picozzi’s arrest report, he has a robbery arrest warrant out in New York. He has been convicted of kidnapping, robbery and impersonating an officer in New Jersey. He was also convicted on felony charges of fleeing police officers out of Florida.

Picozzi was being held Friday at Clark County Detention Center. He was scheduled to appear in court Friday and Monday.

Investigators think Picozzi may have assaulted others in the Las Vegas Valley. Anyone with more information can contact the Las Vegas police at 702-828-3421. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555 or www.crimestoppersofnv.com.

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Ernest Greene
Ernest Greene
6 years ago

Yet another ugly aspect of prohibition. Sex workers are vulnerable to anyone claiming legal authority. Few sex workers can afford to risk saying no to such predators, whether or not they’re real cops (and a fair number of them are, BTW).

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