German woman says Polanski sexually assaulted her in 1972
GENEVA (AP) — Swiss authorities said Wednesday that a German woman has filed a complaint alleging Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski sexually assaulted her 45 years ago in a Swiss resort town while she was in her mid-teens.
Renate Langer, 61, filed the complaint last week in a police station in the northern city of St. Gallen. She said Polanski had raped her at his house in Gstaad, a well-known Alpine resort town, in February 1972, according to police and the regional state prosecutor’s office.
French lawyer Herve Temime, who represents Polanski, told The Associated Press that he plans to discuss the allegations with his client, but hasn’t yet spoken with him about them.
The AP does not typically name people who say they are victims of sexual assault, but Langer spoke publicly in a New York Times interview published this week.
Polanski, 84, has been a fugitive since fleeing to France in 1978 after pleading guilty to having unlawful sex with a minor in California. His victim was 13 at the time. This summer, she asked a judge to drop the 40-year-old case against Polanski, who can only travel between France, Switzerland and his native Poland.
Langer told the Times she waited to report the allegation largely out of concern for her parents. Her father died this past summer and her mother two years ago. Her complaint brings to four the number of public accusations of sexual misconduct by Polanski over the years.
Police spokesman Florian Schneider said it was unclear why Langer had filed the complaint in St. Gallen because Gstaad is under the judicial jurisdiction of the Bern region to the southwest. Polanski owns a chalet in Gstaad and spent time there fighting possible extradition from 2009 to 2010.
The St. Gallen prosecutor’s office said the case was being transferred Wednesday to the “appropriate authorities” in the Bern regional prosecutor’s office, which will decide whether to pursue the case.
Langer presented her allegations to the police, but was not questioned about them, the prosecutor’s office said. She indicated her reasons for filing the complaint 45 years after the alleged incident, though the office declined to provide details.
According to the Times, Langer said she went to Gstaad because Polanski had shown an interest in casting her in a film. She was working as a model in Munich at the time. She told the Times that Polanski raped her in a bedroom at his home.
Polanski was in Switzerland on Monday with his wife, French actress Emmanuelle Seigner, and attended a screening of his new movie, the French-language thriller “Based on a True Story” at the Zurich Film Festival. She is one of the stars of the film.