In the wake of the rampant accusations of sexual assault taking place in Hollywood, all eyes are — once again — on director Roman Polanski, who has been living as a fugitive since he was charged with drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl in 1978. And now, the LAPD says they are investigating a new lead claiming that he molested a 10-year-old in 1975. Despite the on-going investigation, even if they find anything, criminal charges cannot be brought due to the long-expired statute of limitation. Despite this, the LAPD is still moving forward with their investigation.
The investigation has been underway since an artist named Marianne Bernard came forward, claiming that he molested her in 1975 after she took part in a photo shoot led by the controversial director, during which he had her pose nude under a fur coat. Her story became public after she shared a petition urging the Academy to kick him out.
“When I was 10 years old, Roman Polanski photographed me naked under an open fur coat on the rocks at deserted Will Rogers State Beach in Malibu. I believe my mother arranged the encounter,” she wrote in the petition. “After it happened, I didn’t say anything to anyone. I wish that I had been brave enough to speak out, tell a friend, their parent, or even a teacher. Maybe if I had, the other girls wouldn’t have been assaulted by Polanski (a convicted statutory rapist) also. That’s a terrible heartache to carry.”
Serial child rapist Roman Polanski has hired a private detective to harass me and my relatives.— Marianne Barnard (M) (@Marianne_M_B) December 13, 2017
Polanski and his attorneys next move is to try their best to discredit me by making up false stories. Good luck w that. #childsextrafficking #childsexualabuse https://t.co/jugWpOo2DN
She continued by stating that she was motivated to act following news that Harvey Weinstein was removed from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. “I am asking you to sign this petition to demand the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revoke Roman Polanski’s board membership,” she pleaded. “It is a small consequence for him considering his crimes and the great amount of harm he has caused me and his other victims.”
As a fugitive, Polanski has rarely addressed the rape charge — but did speak out about his 1978 case in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter earlier this year. He said in October, “As far as what I did: It’s over. I pleaded guilty. 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 [in Zurich] after this festival. So in the sum, I did about four or five times more than what was promsed to me.”