Economy

Polanski dodges investigation into teen rape in Switzerland

Having initially confirmed they were looking into the allegations, prosecutors in the Swiss capital of Bern, where Polanski now lives in exile, said that under Swiss law the statute of limitations for the alleged assaults had expired. In September, the 61-year-old German former actress Renate Langer told Swiss police that Polanski had approached her at the age of 15 when she modeled in Munich and later raped her at his home in Gstaad, in the canton of Bern.

"Criminal proceedings would be prohibited under statute of limitation rules", it added.

In 1977, Polanski pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with Samantha Geimer when she was 13, but he fled the USA on the eve of his sentencing and has been living in exile from America ever since.

He had spent 43 days in a California jail undergoing a psychriatric evaluation.

He took pictures of the teenager for a photo shoot for the French magazine Vogue Hommes, and then plied her with champagne and a Quaalude sedative before having sex with her.

Langer was the fourth woman to accuse Polanski publicly of sexually assaulting them when they were girls. The Chinatown director narrowly avoided one extradition attempt when he was arrested after arriving to the Zurich Film Festival in 2009.

Accusations against Polanski, who denies wrongdoing outside the Geimer case, have resurfaced in the attention surrounding sexual assault after allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein.

Both Polanski and Geimer have asked a judge to close the case against him over the years, but the judge declined to drop it again in August. She said she only came forward now because her parents were no longer alive.

In 2010, British actress Charlotte Lewis said Polanski "forced himself" on her during an audition, when she was 16.

In August, a woman identified only as Robin said she was "sexually victimised" by the French-Polish film director when she was 16, in 1973.

Polanski's film career has continued to flourish since he fled the United States for France, where many consider him an icon.



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