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1977: Roman Polanski charged with rape

Film director Roman Polanski has been charged with raping a 13-year-old girl at the home of Hollywood star Jack Nicholson.

The 43-year-old, who is out on bail, will appear in a Los Angeles court next week.

He could receive a prison sentence of up to 50 years if he is found guilty.

Polanski is facing four charges including rape, sodomy, child molestation and giving drugs to a minor.

According to Los Angeles Police, the rape took place after a photograph shoot at Mr Nicholson's home.

Polanski was later arrested at a hotel in Beverley Hills after the child's mother went to the police.

She said that her daughter had been taken to the Nicholson home on the understanding that she was being photographed for the French edition of Vogue.

But the mother later revealed that her 13-year-old child had been raped.

Police also raided Mr Nicholson's home and arrested his girlfriend Angelica Huston, daughter of film director John Huston, after she was found to be in possession of a small amount of cocaine. She too was later freed on bail.

Mr Nicholson was not in town at the time and Los Angeles Police said he was in no way connected with the events.

Polanski was the husband of actress Sharon Tate, who was one of seven people murdered by the Charles Manson family in 1969.

Born in Paris but raised in Poland, he suffered a tragic childhood - his Jewish mother was taken to Auschwitz concentration camp and killed in the gas chambers, his father survived Mauthausen concentration camp and Polanski himself managed to escape the Cracow ghetto.

His most famous film is Rosemary's Baby, a horror fantasy in which Mia Farrow gives birth to Satan's child.

Polanski's last major assignment was as guest editor for last year's final issue of the French edition of Vogue.

It featured a gallery of leading actresses.

In Context
In August 1977 Roman Polanski pleaded guilty to having unlawful sex with the 13-year-old girl. <br>

In December of that year he went into prison for a 90-day psychiatric study but was released after 42 days. <br>

Knowing that he faced a possible jail sentence, Polanski jumped bail and fled to France in February 1978. <br>

The judge who was due to pass sentence on the French-born director, said he only intended to impose a light sentence on Polanski and he would have expelled him from the US had he not fled the country. <br>

Since then, the French born director has been unable to return to the US for fear of arrest and imprisonment, and he has avoided making films in the UK because of the danger of extradition. <br>

He continued to direct several films in Europe. His film The Pianist landed Mr Polanski an Oscar in 2002 for best director but he was unable to attend the ceremony for fear of arrest. <br>

Thirty years after his original conviction, in September 2009 Mr Polanski was arrested in Switzerland on a US arrest warrant. His victim had long since agreed an out-of-court settlement and called for charges against him to be dropped.<br>

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Roman Polanski
Polanski could receive a prison sentence of up to 50 years if found guilty

Polanski jumps bail


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