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Statute of limitations Swiss prosecutors won’t pursue Polanski rape case

Roman Polanski at the Cannes Film Festival in May

(Keystone)

Swiss prosecutors say they are ending an investigation of Polish-French film director Roman Polanski over allegations by a German woman that he raped her when she was a teenager 45 years ago. 

Prosecutors in Bern said on Wednesday that the statute of limitations for the alleged crime of sexual actions with children had long since expired. 

The 61-year-old plaintiff filed a criminal complaint in September alleging that the now 84-year-old Polanski had raped her at his chalet in Gstaad, canton Bern, in 1972. The statute of limitations was 15 years at the time. 

The plaintiff was the fourth woman to publicly accuse Polanksi of rape. She decided to approach police because of another case that came to light in Los Angeles last August, according to a report in the New York Times. 

Polanski has so far only admitted to sexual intercourse with a minor as part of a plea bargain in 1977 in the United States. 

In 2009, Polanski was detained in Switzerland following a warrant by the US justice authorities to extradite him. He was put under house arrest for ten months before he was released.

swissinfo.ch and agencies/ts

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