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Polanski under probe over rape allegations

October 4, 2017

Police are investigating rape allegations against Roman Polanski after an actress filed charges against him for an alleged assault over 40 years ago. It is the fourth time the director has been accused of sexual assault.

Sex-Sakandale von Prominenten
Image: Getty Images/AFP/J. Skarzynski

Swiss Police on Tuesday confirmed that they were investigating rape charges against director Roman Polanski. St. Gallen police communications chief Krusi Hanspeter confirmed the details of the allegations, first reported by The New York Times.

Hanspeter told the AFP news agency that police interviewed the 61-year-old Munich-born former actress, Renate Langer, on September 26. Langer has accused Polanski, now 84, of raping her in Gstaad when she was 15. He said it was not yet clear if charges would be filed.

Police are to hand the case over to state prosecutors, who will determine if the statue of limitations to prosecute the case has expired. It's the fourth time that a woman has publicly accused Polanski of sexual assault, the first being Samantha Geimer.

Living in exile

Polanski pleaded guilty in the United States to having unlawful sex with 13-year-old Geimer but fled the country before he could be sentenced in 1978. He has been living outside the US since the trial and remains a fugitive.

In August, a woman identified as Robin, told journalists in Los Angeles that Polanski had "sexually victimized" her in 1973, when she was 16. Robin decided to speak out after Geimer requested the court to end the legal proceedings against Polanski in June.

German actress Renate Langer in Munich
Langer told The New York Times that Polanski raped her on two occasionsImage: Imago/Lindenthaler

Langer told The New York Times that she chose to speak out now because she had read Robin's account and because her parents were no longer alive. Langer said she did not report the incident earlier largely out of concern for her parents.

She told the paper she met Polanski while working for a modeling agency in Munich and traveled to visit him in Gstaad, where she said he raped her.

Langer said Polanski raped her again in Rome while she was filming for his movie "Che?."

Polanski's film career continued after fleeing the United States. He has won eight Cesars, the French version of the Oscars, as well as the Best Director Academy Award in 2002 for the Holocaust drama "The Pianist."

ap/sms (AFP, dpa)