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September 30, 2014

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Police say 48-year-old posed as vice detective and sexually assaulted escort in Strip hotel

Updated Friday, Jan. 31, 2014 | 4:37 p.m.

Mark Picozzi

Mark Picozzi

A suspect wanted in a New York robbery and previously convicted of impersonating an officer is accused of posing as a cop and sexually assaulting a woman Tuesday at a Las Vegas Strip hotel, according to Metro Police.

The suspect, arrested Thursday, was identified as Mark Picozzi, 48, of Las Vegas.

Metro opened an investigation after the alleged victim was picked up on an outstanding warrant and mentioned to detectives that she had been sexually assaulted, authorities said.

The woman told investigators she worked for an escort service and was called to meet a man at the Cosmopolitan, according to a Metro arrest report.

The woman discussed payment for her services with the man, later identified as Picozzi, who then took a call on the hotel phone, the report said.

Picozzi said a friend had wired him money and he was going to pick it up. But just as Picozzi and the woman were about to leave the room, he turned to the escort, identified himself as a vice officer and told her to sit down, the report said.

Picozzi asked about her family and said he could help her out if she helped him, according to the report.

He told her to sit down on the bed and began kissing her and fondling her body, the report said. He then demanded oral sex before forcing her to have intercourse, according to the report.

Picozzi has no known affiliation with any law enforcement agency, and he provided a different name when confronted by detectives, police said.

Picozzi had an active warrant out of New York on a count of robbery, police said. He also has been convicted of robbery, kidnapping and impersonating an officer in New Jersey, authorities said.

Once in custody, Picozzi reportedly told detectives he met the woman through another woman. They met at his hotel room and had consensual sex, Picozzi said, according to the report. He also said the woman asked for help on a drug deal and threatened to blackmail him, according to the report.

When detectives searched Picozzi’s car, they found a note with the names of several women and numbers on it, clothes that matched the description provided by the escort of what her alleged attacker was wearing, duct tape, scissors, a knife and gloves, according to the report.

Picozzi was taken to the Clark County Detention Center and booked on four counts of sexual assault and single counts of impersonating a police officer, oppression under color of office and providing false information to a police officer, authorities said. He is being held without bail.

Anyone with further information is asked to contact Metro’s Sexual Assault Section at 702-828-3421 or to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555 or online at crimestoppersofnv.com.

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