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September 1, 2014

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Convicted cop impersonator’s sexual assault case advances

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Steve Marcus

Mark Picozzi, left, listens to attorney Casey Landis before his preliminary hearing at the Regional Justice Center Tuesday, March 11, 2014. Picozzi is accused of impersonating a police officer and forcing women working for escort services to perform sexual acts.

Man Accused of Impersonating Officer in Court

Mark Picozzi stands by attorney Casey Landis during a preliminary hearing at the Regional Justice Center Tuesday, March 11, 2014. Picozzi is accused of impersonating a police officer and forcing women working for escort services to perform sexual acts. Launch slideshow »

A convicted cop impersonator will stand trial on allegations that he posed as a vice officer and forced himself on an escort and a prostitute.

Las Vegas Township Judge Deborah Lippis ruled today there was enough evidence to send the case against Mark Picozzi, 48, to Clark County District Court.

Picozzi will be arraigned in Clark County District Court on March 26.

Casey Landis, Picozzi’s attorney, said the alleged victims’ testimony at the preliminary hearing, which spanned two days, gave him concerns about the witnesses’ credibility.

There were significant differences between what the women said on the stand and what they told police, Landis said.

Picozzi, 48, is charged with 14 criminal counts, including five counts of sexual assault, two counts of impersonating a public officer, four counts of open and gross lewdness and robbery according to court records.

Metro Police arrested Picozzi in January for allegedly posing as a vice officer and assaulting an escort at the Cosmopolitan. Shortly after news broke of Picozzi’s arrest, a prostitute told Metro Police a cop impersonator assaulted her at the MGM Signature Hotel.

The women’s stories were similar: They met Picozzi and discussed payment for services, then he told them he was a vice cop and assaulted them.

Authorities say Picozzi has a lengthy criminal history that includes an active warrant for robbery out of New York. He has been convicted of robbery, kidnapping and impersonating an officer in New Jersey. He also was convicted of fleeing from police officers and was arrested for robbery and grand theft auto in Florida.

Picozzi remains in Clark County Detention Center without bail.

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