Sex offender who lured men by posing online as woman faces more jail time

A man who was jailed for luring other men for sex by masquerading online as a woman deceived and sexually assaulted another victim less than three months after his release from prison.

Peter Valsamakis, 44, enticed a 21-year-old man to his Newport home on Christmas Day last year after deceiving him into thinking he was meeting a woman with brown hair.

The pair had exchanged text messages and explicit photographs in the days beforehand after making contact on the dating app Skout.

The photographs Valsamakis sent were not of himself but of a woman, and were sourced from the internet, the County Court heard on Monday. The pair spoke on the phone at one point but Valsamakis posed as a woman and explained that the man was to blindfold himself when he arrived at the home.

The victim covered his face with his T-shirt when he let himself into the home and Valsamakis sexually assaulted him, having entered the room only when the victim could not see, prosecutor Andrew Sprague said.

Valsamakis pleaded guilty to rape by compelling sexual penetration. Mr Sprague said the victim did not give consent to the sexual act with Valsamakis.

Valsamakis, a former sex worker and bodybuilder, was jailed in 2018 for deceiving five men by posing as "Michelle" on dating apps and sexually assaulting some when they attended his home and blindfolded themselves in the expectation a woman would perform sex acts.

He also spent time in jail last year for breaching a community correction order.

Judge Patricia Riddell was on Monday told his Christmas Day offending occurred 75 days after he completed his second prison stint. He is now back in custody awaiting sentence.

The court heard the victim pulled his T-shirt from his face when he sensed something wrong, saw Valsamakis and yelled: "Are you f---ing serious?"

He punched Valsamakis in the ribs, at which the offender picked up a flower pot and threatened to throw it. The victim called police as he ran from the home.

Judge Riddell dismissed a suggestion by Valsamakis' lawyer that the offender became threatening only when punched.

"What does he expect is going to happen when this man discovers it's not the woman he saw photos of? It beggars belief," the judge said.

Defence counsel David Swan said his client was ashamed and distressed at appearing again before Judge Riddell, who had jailed him for 18 months for his offending against the other five men.

Mr Swan said his client identified as homosexual but had a complex sexual identity, having been bullied at school and rejected by family members, and experiencing shame at some things he did as a sex worker. Valsamakis was also using ice at the time of the offending, but was now drug-free.

Judge Riddell said it was frustrating Valsamakis had not taken up some of the support services offered to him, but his lawyer said he was reluctant out of mistrust of others and fear of being exploited.

The judge questioned what empathy the offender had for the victim, who had sounded angry and distressed in his call to police and a subsequent statement. The young man chose not to make a victim impact statement.

Valsamakis will be sentenced this month.

For help contact the National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800RESPECT 1800 737 732, or Victims of Crime Helpline on 1800 819 817.

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