A man who preyed on sex workers in London and impersonated a police officer to force them into carrying out non-consensual sex acts was jailed on Friday.
Wood Green Crown Court sentenced 51-year-old Pawel Pazola of Regents Close, Crawley to 14 years in prison for two counts of rape, one count of robbery, one count of impersonating a police officer and one count of possession of an imitation firearm.
Pazola had used the imitation firearm to subdue his victims while raping them.
His victims were two Brazilian sex workers who were in London at the time of the attacks in 2020.
The sentencing comes after Pazola was found guilty of all charges on September 2 following a trial that lasted two weeks.
During the trial, the court heard details about how Pazola first contacted his victims via an online escort service.
His first victim was raped on August 7, 2020, after meeting Pazola at an address in Camden, where he forced her to engage in sexual acts beyond what they’d agreed.
The second rape took place on August 22, 2020, at an address in Bayswater, Westminster. Again, Pazola used force to get the victim to carry out sex acts that she had not agreed to.
On both occasions, Pazola pretended to be a police officer and threatened to deport the victims if they didn’t comply.
In the second attack, he even produced a fake police badge and fake gun.
After raping his victims, he took back the money he had initially paid them. He also stole additional money from his second victim.
The first victim had already reported Pazola to the police on August 10, just 12 days before he carried out his second attack.
The second victim reported her incident to the police on August 27, with the encouragement of the first victim, who she had met on a WhatsApp group for Brazilian sex workers in the UK.
Pazola was arrested three days after he was reported for the second time, on August 30, at an address in Crawley following an investigation by detectives from the Central North’s Serious Sexual Offences Team.
An imitation police badge, a black replica handgun and £1,380 in cash were seized at his property during a police search.
The next day, Pazola was charged and sent to appear at the Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court where he was remanded in custody ahead of trial.
His victims testified against him via video link throughout his trial, as they had both since returned to Brazil.
Detective Sergeant Sam Lockstone, who led the investigation, said: “Pazola is a highly dangerous predator who sought to take advantage of the victims’ perceived vulnerabilities for his own gratification and monetary gain.
“I would like to praise the victims for showing such bravery and courage throughout this investigation and during the trial. I am especially pleased that our supportive response to the first victim encouraged the second victim to come forward.
“The Met’s response to sex work has not changed; our priority remains addressing vulnerability and exploitation linked to on-street, off-street and online sex work.
“Our approach is not to criminalise the sex workers involved but to safeguard and support them, and build mutual trust and confidence to encourage the sharing of information to improve safety.
“I hope that this sentence demonstrates the Met’s commitment to tackling crimes against sex workers, and violence against women and girls in whatever form it may take.”
After his release from his 14-year sentence, Pazola will remain on licence for a further four years.
Pazola has also been made subject to sex offenders notification requirement for the rest of his life.