California police say they have begun investigating a complaint that director Roman Polanski molested a 10-year-old girl in 1975, as reported by Page Six.
Los Angeles investigators opened the case after Marianne Barnard came forward with the allegations.
Barnard earlier made these claims in October, alleging on Twitter that Polanski took pictures of her naked and then “he went on from there.”
— Marianne Barnard (M) (@Marianne_M_B) October 13, 2017
She also alleged that her mother was in on the act, arranging for the molestation in order to raise money for school.
Barnard, who was inspired to tell her story after numerous accusations against producer Harvey Weinstein, spoke to the Daily Beast in October.
“First he was taking pictures of me in the bikini, then it was with the coat then he said take off the bikini top, which I was comfortable with as I was only 10 and I often ran around with no top on,” she told the publication. “But then he wanted me to take my bikini bottoms off—I started to feel very uncomfortable.”
The California-based artist revealed that her mother took the opportunity to then step away from the photo shoot, leaving her completely vulnerable, as previously reported by CrimeOnline.
“I don’t know where she went and I didn’t really register her leaving but she was no longer there,” she said. “Then he molested me.”
Authorities are conducting a thorough investigation into Barnard’s claims, despite the case being too old to formally prosecute due to the statute of limitations.
BREAKING: Los Angeles police are investigating allegations Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski molested a 10-year-old girl in 1975 – AP pic.twitter.com/Sp7PHUJlmX
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) December 12, 2017
Polanski’s attorney, Harland Braun, has denied the allegation on his client’s behalf, noting that he trusts the LAPD’s investigation will produce nothing incriminating.
“I believe that a competent LAPD investigation will prove the whole story to be bogus,” he wrote in an email to Page Six.
Braun also noted that he has hired a private investigator, ostensibly to help refute Barnard’s story.
Polanski, now 84, has been a fugitive from America since 1978, when he fled the country just before being sentenced for the sexual assault of 13-year-old Samantha Gailey.
[Featured image: Roman Polanski/Associated Press]