A conman photographer has been found guilty of raping, abusing, or spying on 11 models who posed for him at his studio.

Paul Brown deceived the women into believing they could be glamour or adult stars if they stripped off or joined him in casting couch sex sessions.

He set up a bogus modelling agency which he pretended had nothing to do with him and which he actually controlled and used to manipulate the victims.

The models thought the agency was genuine and could find them work but only if they went for 'test shoots' at his studio in Okehampton, where he operated under the false name of Paul D Smart.

Brown invented two fictional women, who supposedly ran the Models South West agency. Brown, through the agency contacted many of the victims of Facebook, told them they had the potential to be models, and inviting them to the studio.

Brown's trial was held at Exeter Crown Court (stock photo)

Once they were there, he persuaded some to have sex with him on camera and others to strip for what he called 'artistic nude' sessions where he in fact focussed his camera on their private parts.

The rape victims were told they could earn large amounts by posing for a type of pornography called POV or point of view, in which the participants film themselves having sex.

They all thought the material would be sent to the agency Model South West, which would find them work. In reality, the agency was a sham and Brown kept the images for his own sexual gratification.

Some of the models who had sex with him were lured back to his studio on the Fatherford Farm trading estate in Okehampton by messages from the modelling agency saying the scenes had to be re-shot.

One model who was reluctant to strip naked heard Brown call Model South West and pretend to have a conversation with the agency about how she was ideal for nude work.

The models came from all over Devon and were of all ages and sizes, ranging from their late teens to their 60s, Many were vulnerable and insecure about their bodies and were fooled by Brown's smooth talking and flattery.

None of them ever received any offers of work and none of them received any of the money which he promised would follow.

Brown kept a record of his sexual conquests in a 'black book' which recorded details of some of the rape victims.

The book contained the names, ages, physical details of Brown's partners and included a mark out of ten for their performance. The book even included his own wife, who scored nine out of ten.

The whole set up with the agency was a device to con women into satisfying his sexual appetite, which was described as sleazy and sordid by the prosecution.

Brown joked with police in one interview that he was not Harvey Weinstein but employed a classic casting couch technique of offering fame and fortune in exchange for sex. The couch actually came from Ikea.

He set himself up as a photographer despite having little formal training and a background as an IT adviser, at one stage working for the NHS in Exeter.

Brown committed the offences while running his studio at the Fatherford Farm trading estate in Okehampton between 2015 and 2018.

The police were first alerted in 2017 by one of the rape victims who went to a genuine modelling shoot with a professional photographer a few days afterwards.

Brown will be sentenced at Exeter Crown Court in February (stock photo)

She realised that what Brown had done amounted to a sexual assault and went to the police, who arrested him and seized the black book.

He carried on in exactly the same way while he was being investigated by police and went on to rape another two women.

Brown was found guilty of 20 out of 28 charges including 15 rapes against six different women. He was also found guilty of voyeurism against five other women.

He pleaded guilty to one count of voyeurism, which involved him installing a hidden camera at his home to spy on a young female visitor in the bathroom.

He was cleared of four counts of sexual assault, which alleged that he touched models while rubbing oil onto their bodies during shoots.

Brown, aged 41, of Okehampton, denied a total of 18 rapes against seven women, four of sexual assault against four women, and six of voyeurism against six women.

He said all the women consented to what he did, in many cases in advance and in writing.

He was found guilty of 15 rapes and five counts of voyeurism and remanded in custody by Judge David Evans, who adjourned sentence until February.

He put Brown on the sex offenders register and ordered the probation service to prepare a report of whether Brown is a dangerous offender.

He told him:"You have been convicted of many of these serious offences and in due course you will be sentenced to a significant time in custody. The appropriate time will only be decided in the light of the relevant material."

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Mr David Sapiecha, prosecuting, said the victims will provide impact statements for the sentencing hearing.

He told the jury that Brown has previous convictions for fraud which they were not told about previously because they were not relevant.

They date from 1999 to 2002 and involved him using false names and fictional companies to obtain £14,000 worth of computer equipment.