The Los Angeles Police Department opened a new investigation looking into sexual molestation allegations against Roman Polanski

By Alexia Fernandez
December 12, 2017 11:00 PM
Andreas Rentz/Getty

Roman Polanski is under investigation for new allegations of sexual assault, PEOPLE confirms.

A Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson told PEOPLE they were investigating allegations made against Polanski claiming the director had sexually molested a 10-year-old child in 1975.

While authorities are looking into the allegations, the department cannot prosecute the case as the statute of limitations has expired, according to the Los Angeles Times. However, the evidence could aid in the prosecution of other cases, the LAPD told the paper.

In a statement to PEOPLE Polanski’s lawyer said, “If LAPD claims that they will not investigate because of the statute of limitations, their excuse is bogus. Even conduct beyond the statute of limitations is admissible in California for corroboration. We have contacted the LAPD and will turn over all information we have and urge them to do a complete and through investigation.”

Marianne Barnard, an artist, claimed the director sexually assaulted her when she was 10 years old after a photo shoot at Will Rogers State Beach in California. Polanski allegedly had her pose naked with a fur coat.

Barnard has also begun an online petition to expel Polanski, 84, from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

“It is a small consequence for him considering his crimes and the great amount of harm he has caused me and his other victims,” Barnard wrote in the petition.

On Twitter Tuesday night, she said Polanski had hired the private detective to “harass me and my relatives.”

In a second tweet, she wrote, “The reason Roman Polanski has told the press that he’s hired a private investigator to harass me and my relatives is to silence other women who have come forward to police but, not publicly. And, to silence his victims who haven’t spoken out yet at all.”

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Polanski is still wanted for fleeing the U.S. in 1978 after he pleaded guilty to statutory rape after being charged with drugging and assaulting a 13-year-old girl.

The Oscar-winning director spoke out about that rape accusation in a rare interview with The Hollywood Reporter in October.

“As far as what I did: It’s over. I pleaded guilty,” Polanski said. “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 than what was promised to me.”