Roman Polanski Accused Of Molesting 10-Year-Old Girl After She Was Left Alone With Him On A California Beach

Photo: Crime Online
Roman Polanski 10-year-old girl Marianne Barnard

Marianne Barnard said it happened during a "disturbing" photo shoot.

Marianne Barnard thought she was just going to the beach with her mother. But instead, the 10-year-old girl from Santa Barbara, California was brought to meet director and convicted sex offender Roman Polanski for a photo shoot.

While standing on some rocks on the California coastline, Barnard told The Sun that she modeled for Polanski wearing a bikini and a fur coat. Everything seemed fine until he asked her to remove her bikini top — and then her bottoms. 

And her mother was nowhere to be found. 

"I started to feel very uncomfortable," said Barnard, the now adult artist. "Then at some point. I realized my mom had gone. I don’t know where she went and I didn’t really register her leaving but she was no longer there. Then he molested me.”

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Barnard said she continues to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder from the molesation, which she says also gave her claustrophobia. Though reliving the details of the alleged sexual assault hasn't been easy, she was inspired by the women who spoke out against Harvey Weinstein's abuse. 

“I felt terribly conflicted that I have been silent all this time and all these women are bravely coming forward and I thought to myself I can’t in good conscience knowing what I know - and having gone through what I’ve gone through - not speak out," she said. 

“Even though it puts me in a very bad - even dangerous position - with my mom and Polanski and other people who are involved - I can’t be silent anymore."

In addition to speaking out, Barnard has also launched a petition to have Polanski removed from the board of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He's currently on the run in Europe after pleading guilty to taping a 13-year-old girl in 1977.

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Polanski allegedly gave his victim alcohol and Quaaludes before the attack, which took place at Jack Nicholson's house. He was charged with five crimes but took a plea deal for "unlawful sexual intercourse" in exchange to drop the five charges. 

But he fled to Europe the night before his sentencing hearing because he learned the judge was going to reject the plea deal and jail him. He's lived in exile ever since, and three other women have come forward accusing him of sexual assault when they were teens. 

Barnard also made an official report with the Los Angeles Police Department's sex crimes unit, and her petition has 10,000 signatures. Though she wishes she would have told her story sooner, she hopes it helps other victims come forward. 

“It’s a huge burden to carry knowing that I didn’t come forward earlier - if I did then maybe he wouldn’t have been able to do what he did. But I’ve come forward now.”

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Emily Blackwood is an editor at YourTango who covers pop culture, true crime, dating, relationships and everything in between. Every Wednesday at 10:20 p.m. you can ask her any and all questions about self-love, dating, and relationships LIVE on YourTango’s Facebook page. You can follow her on Instagram (@blackw00d) and Twitter (@emztweetz).