Man found guilty of sexually assaulting woman after VHS tape discovered

A man has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman in Sydney’s south-west three decades ago after his estranged wife found a VHS tape in the garage depicting the crime.

Boghos “Paul” Parizian, 58, faced trial in the NSW District Court charged with 11 counts of sexual intercourse without consent after the damning footage showed his hour-long interaction with the woman who appeared to have been drugged.

Boghos “Paul” Parizian leaves court last week.Credit:Louise Kennerley

In the footage, played to a jury in closed court, Parizian spoke to the woman for about 20 minutes as she told him: “Stop it, please, just leave me alone.” Immediately before the assault began, Parizian told her: “I do it my way. You don’t believe me? You watch.”

Crown prosecutor Alex Morris said in closing arguments to the jury that the video, and the 40-minute assault it depicted, “speaks for itself”.

“Sometimes a picture tells 1000 words,” Morris said. “In this case Exhibit A – the 1 hour and 54-second recording, in full colour with sound – tells you everything you need to know in this trial.”

On Monday, a jury of eight men and three women found Parizian guilty of all 11 counts after deliberating since last Wednesday.

The court heard the woman went out to dinner with Parizian some time between October 1991 and March 1993 and started to feel woozy after drinking orange juice, then went to Parizian’s home in Liverpool because he said his father was ill and she thought something was wrong.

She did not remember the rest of the night and did not remember how she got home. Later, Parizian called her and said he had a sex tape, threatening to show it to everyone if she didn’t have sex with him again. She did not believe him.

The video was found in 2009 when Parizian’s estranged wife kicked him out and changed the locks and he repeatedly insisted that he had to collect something from the garage.

His estranged wife maintained that he already had all of his property, and when she looked in the garage with her brother she found the VHS labelled “big mama”. The tape was copied onto a DVD and eventually handed to police in 2015.

Detectives managed to track down the woman depicted in the video and told her what had been found. When she was shown the video in March 2016 the woman was inconsolable, sobbing constantly and shivering uncontrollably.

Detective Senior Constable Ryan Mitchell, the officer in charge of the case, told the court the woman required constant breaks and would repeatedly say out loud, “how can I not remember this” and “how can anybody say that I want this”.

Parizian’s barrister Chris Watson said in his closing comments to the jury that the video was “distasteful” and “confronting in a number of ways” but ultimately “completely consensual”. He said the woman’s protests in the video were about being recorded, not the sexual acts themselves.

Parizian sacked his legal team midway through the trial, which was able to continue when new lawyers were quickly found.

He will be sentenced at a later date.

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