The Pianist film director Robert Polanski faces child sex probe

Renate Langer, a 61-year-old German woman, claimed she was attacked by Mr Polanski in his home in the Swiss ski resort of Gstaad when she was 15.

The alleged assault in February 1972 is the latest in a string of similar allegations made by four different women against 84-year-old Mr Polanski, who is now married with two children.

Detectives in the Swiss town of Gallen met Ms Langer last week and she made a formal criminal complaint. Mr Polanski’s lawyer Jan Olszewski said: “In my opinion, the situation is so absurd that it is hard to even comment on it. This initiative – after 40 years – is primarily aimed at causing media noise.”

The authorities in Switzerland must now decide whether the historic nature of the claims prevents them from taking the matter further, or whether prosecutors think they can secure a conviction.

A spokesman for Gallen police said: “The case is being examined.” Mr Polanski pleaded guilty in the US in 1977 to having unlawful sex with 13-year-old Samantha Geimer.

But the acclaimed director fled the country before he could be sentenced. He now lives almost permanently in Paris with his family, as France does not have an extradition treaty with America.

Asked why she did not report he claims earlier, Ms Langer said: “My mother would have had a heart attack. “I felt ashamed and embarrassed and lost and solo.”

Both of Ms Langer’s parents are now dead and she said she felt the time was right to speak out. In August a US woman identified only as Robin M said that Mr Polanski assaulted her in 1973 when she was 16.

And in 2010 the British actress Charlotte Lewis said she was sexually assaulted by Mr Polanski as a 16-year-old. Lawyers for Mr Polanski refused to discuss the latest accusation.

They have denied all previous claims, except for Ms Geimer’s. Mr Polanski has become involved in legal problems during brief visits to Switzerland and Poland in the past.

But judges in the two countries have always declined to extradite him to the US. Judges in California have refused to drop the outstanding case against Mr Polanski on two occasions, despite the director considering the matter closed.

Ms Langer, who had a career as an actress, says she was first introduced to Mr Polanski while she was working for a modelling agency in Munich as a child.

She claims that he invited her to his house in Gstaad to discuss career opportunities in film and she alleges it was then that she was raped.

Ms Langer later took a small role in Mr Polanski’s film What? and she was allegedly again raped by the director in Rome. “This had an influence on all of my life,” said Ms Langer.

Despite mainly being confined to France, Mr Polanski has won eight Cesars – the French equivalent of an Oscar – and won the best director Academy Award for the Holocaust movie The Pianist.