LAS VEGAS -- Metro Police have arrested a man who said impersonated a police officer and forced a woman into having sex with him. Police said it happened at the Cosmopolitan Hotel and fear there could be more victims.
Authorities said 48-year-old mark Picozzi is now locked up and he's accused of posing as a Metro police vice officer and targeting women who were working as escorts.
Police said this case began on Tuesday as the victim told police her escort agency sent her to the 32nd floor of the Cosmopolitan to meet a client. In the room, police believe Picozzi negotiated prices at first then a few moments later, the victim said Picozzi told her he was a vice officer.
"This guy is a predator, he is a sexual predator," Metro Police officer Jose Hernandez said. "This is how he's finding victims that is his MO, this is how he's finding victims."
According to the arrest report, Picozzi made phony calls in front of the victim to play up the officer facade. Truly believing he was with police, the victim said Picozzi then gave her an option; the victim wouldn't go to jail if she did something for him in return.
"When the questions start becoming rather out of the ordinary, 'hey I need you to follow me here, I need you to do this or, hey if you don't want to go to jail, this is what you need to do,' Hernandez said. "When these questions come up, red flags should be going up."
The victim said Picozzi put on a condom and gave oral sex feeling she couldn't leave and had conventional sex before leaving the hotel.
"This is a type of person that we absolutely need off the streets," Hernandez said.
It turns out Picozzi has a long wrap sheet for similar crimes.
He has prior convictions out of New Jersey for kidnapping, robbery and impersonating an officer.
As for this most recent local arrest, Metro police say more victims could be out there.
Police said anytime you are approached by an officer and you don't feel comfortable, ask for identification or even call 911 to verify what's going on.
Picozzi is facing several charges including sexual assault, impersonating a police officer and providing false information.
If you think you may be a victim, you're urged to call Crimestoppers at the number 385-5555