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A fourth woman has come forward to accuse beleaguered director Roman Polanski of sexual assault.
Renate Langer, 61, a German former actress, told Swiss police that the "Chinatown" filmmaker raped her at his mountain chalet in Gstaad, Switzerland, when she was 15 years old, according to the Associated Press. The model had traveled there because the director indicated he was interested in casting her in a movie, she said. (She would later appear in his film “Che?”)
In an interview with the New York Times published Wednesday, Langer said she's bringing the claim against the 84-year-old "Rosemary's Baby" director now because she believes the statute of limitations, which Switzerland has eliminated in child sex abuse cases, would allow her complaint to be investigated. She said she waited to report the incident, which allegedly took place in February 1972, largely out of concern for her parents, who died recently.
"My mother would have had a heart attack," Langer told the newspaper. "I felt ashamed and embarrassed and lost and solo."
St. Gallen police met with Langer last week, and the St. Gallen prosecutor's office told the AP that the case would be transferred Wednesday to the "appropriate authorities" in the Bern regional prosecutor’s office, which will decide whether to pursue it.
French lawyer Herve Temime, who represents the French-Polish filmmaker, told the AP that he plans to discuss the allegations with Polanski, but had not yet spoken to him. Jan Olszewski, Polanski's lawyer in Poland, told Reuters that he was aware of Langer's "notification" and dismissed it as an "absurd" attempt to generate media attention.
News of Langer's complaint comes just days after Polanski — who was at the Zurich Film Festival promoting his new film "Based on a True Story" — addressed his protracted case stemming from his 1977 admission to having sexual intercourse with a minor in Los Angeles.
"As far as what I did: It's over. I pleaded guilty," Polanski told the Hollywood Reporter in Zurich. "I went to jail. I came back to the United States to do it, people forget about that, or don't even know. I then was locked up here after this festival [in 2009]. So in the sum, I did about four or five times more than what was promised to me."
What was promised to him has been a matter of contention over the years.
In March 1977, the director, then 44, was arrested on suspicion of drugging and raping Samantha Gailey, then 13, at a party at Jack Nicholson's house three days after "Chinatown" was released.
As part of an "open plea" deal struck later that year, he admitted having sex with the teen and agreed to undergo 90 days of psychiatric evaluation at a state prison. He was released after serving 42 days. Prison officials advised the judge that test results showed his sentence should not include additional incarceration.
However, a day before sentencing in early 1978, Polanski fled the country to avoid what he feared would be serious prison time if the judge — who was under intense scrutiny at the time — decided to ignore the plea arrangement. He has lived in France, which does not extradite its citizens, as well as Poland and Switzerland.
The Times does not normally publish the names of alleged sex crime victims unless they make their accusations publicly.
In 1993, Polanski settled a civil lawsuit with Geimer, agreeing to pay her $500,000 plus interest. But in 2009, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office initiated extradition proceedings. Polanski was arrested during the Zurich Film Festival but later released and allowed to return to France.
Langer is the latest woman to publicly accuse Polanski of sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager. In 2010, British actress Charlotte Lewis, who appeared in Polanski’s 1986 film "Pirates," accused him of "forcing himself" on her in 1982 in Paris when she was 16.
Last month, a third woman who identified herself as Robin went public with her claim that Polanski sexually victimized her in 1973, when she was 16.